After Johnny Cash’s intense detoxification, his sobriety was still a work in progress, but the following winter Cash’s daughters came for their first visit to his new home. Being reunited with them was glorious. One night after they’d gone to bed, Cash went to his room and looked out the window at snow gently drifting down. Having the girls there and the picture postcard scene outside suddenly imbued him with a serenity he hadn’t felt since he couldn’t remember when. He sank to his knees to thank God for everything good in his life and for sparing him from the bad end he’d come so close to for so long. Cash also acknowledged that he still had far to go, and entreated, “Don’t give up on me, Lord. I can’t make it without You.”
God had kept His promise to Johnny. God set “death and life” (Deuteronomy 30:19) before the singer as He does with all of us. Cash chose life, and not a moment too soon.
It comes as a surprise to some that the hope of the follower of Jesus is not just life after death in Heaven. Of course, that would be more than enough, but the Lord also offers a dimension of life during life. Medical science seeks to add years to our life, while Jesus Christ offers life to our years. Jesus promised an abundant, fulfilling, rich life if we will walk closely with Him. Johnny was doing that now, and instead of feeling hemmed in, he felt like he had been set free. I’m sure he wondered why he had not done it sooner.
1. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10 NKJV)
Have you experienced the abundant life that Jesus promised? If so, in what ways?
2. Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy. (Psalm 107:1–2 NKJV)
What are the things in your life that you can give thanks for now?
3. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6–7 NKJV)
Have you experienced the peace that passes understanding? How would you describe peace?