I had it all for a long time. Or so I thought. I wanted the things of this world, and I sure got them all right. Lots of cash, a nice apartment, nice clothes, a good job, as many women and parties as I wanted.
Then I started losing these things, one by one. It hurt. Things I had worked for—I deserved them, they were mine! They were being taken away from me. The more things were taken away from me, the angrier I got.
When I got busted and sentenced to jail, that’s when I hit bottom. I finally realized what a mess I had made of my life. A total mess. That’s when it really hit me. Then a strange thing happened. I realized that when you’re all the way down, you can’t go down any more. The only way you can go is up. I imagined that I was flat on my back at the bottom of a deep hole, looking up. And you know what I saw? The sky. It was pitch dark, but the stars were twinkling. I started feeling very peaceful, like a lot of burdens had been taken off my back. All those things of the world I had, I saw they were just getting between me and God, separating me from God.
The amazing thing is, when I realized that He was allowing all those things to be taken away from me, and it hurt, I saw that it was because He loved me and didn’t want anything to keep us apart. When I understood that, He didn’t have to take anything else away from me. I started saying, “Lord, you don’t have to take these things away from me any more. I want to give them up for You!”
Ever since, I have been giving my bad habits up on my own. And you know what? The more I give them up to Him, the more peaceful I feel.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled,
and do not let them be afraid.”
The above story is from the book “Jesus In Jail” by Frederick Hermann, available on Amazon by clicking here. This excerpt is gratefully used with permission.
Frederick Hermann is the author of several books including “I Am With You Always”, “How to Forgive Anyone for Anything”, “The Joyful Life”, and “The Spirit Set Me Free”. These practical and inspiring books will guide you to find true healing, lasting peace, and delightful consolation as you discover the life-changing power of God in your daily life, in all circumstances, both joyful and sorrowful, right now. Even in the midst of sorrow, grief, or loneliness, the peace of Christ can be yours today. He is a popular speaker for audiences of all ages using a dynamic question and answer style to encourage lively discussion, soul searching, and audience participation. To invite him to speak at your next retreat, church group, youth group or special event, contact him at [email protected]