I had the joy of hearing a wonderful testimony from a young Christian. “J”, now in his 40s, first came into bad company during his National Service (NS) when his army mates introduced him to drugs. After NS, he drifted into hard core drug addiction when his mother died. His stepmother then threw him out of the family home. He spent some time in-and-out of Drug Rehabilitation Centres, but his subsequent halfway house stints did not keep him clean. At his deepest depression amidst family turmoil, he attempted suicide by overdosing on drugs. But God had other plans…
He awoke in hospital and spent weeks there undergoing detoxification. One day, an old man in the ward walked up to him, grabbed him by the shoulders and said, “God loves you! Don’t let go of Him!”. Then the old man walked off and never said another thing to him. Remembering this, when it came the time to be discharged to yet another halfway-house, he decided to go to a Christian one. There, he heard about and believed in the saving grace of Jesus Christ. He spurned his life of drugs and decided to live with other rehabilitated believers and work in a Christian social enterprise selling cooked food.
His family rejected him on account of his new faith, but he soldiered on. A short while later, he suffered a stroke and become paralyzed on one side of his body. No doubt, the many years of physical and drug abuse had taken their toll. Through rehabilitation, he has recovered somewhat and has gone back to work in the social enterprise. Instead of working in the kitchen, he is doing the cashiering. Despite all this, he is joyfully growing in his faith and lives without regrets.
Our lives may have similarities to “J”, or maybe our challenges come in other painful forms. But in this modern society of ours, many are always dissatisfied and longing for “something better”. We keep thinking “if only…”. If only I had this, or if only I was given an opportunity, or if only I had this job, etc. Tim Gustafsson, writing in Our Daily Bread, says, “It’s one of life’s greatest lies that we need to be somewhere else, doing something else, with someone else before we start truly living.” When we find our life in Jesus, we exchange regret for the full enjoyment of life with Him, both now and forever.
Jesus said in John 10:10, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Note, of course, that this refers to the abundant spiritual life in Christ. Paul, in his letter to the Romans, also wrote, “…in Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit that brings life made you free. It made you free from the law that brings sin and death (Rom 8:2).” “People who live following their sinful selves think only about what they want. But those who live following the Spirit are thinking about what the Spirit wants them to do (v 5)”. “If your thinking is controlled by your sinful self, there is spiritual death. But if your thinking is controlled by the Spirit, there is life and peace (v 6)”.
Let’s learn from the example of “J”, and truly let the Holy Spirit live in us so that we have life (in Christ) and (true) peace now! Let’s not succumb to one of life’s greatest lies.
By Dr David Loh (YCKC Bulletin 24&25 June 2017)