by Nan Jones  @NanJonesAuthor

Booze was Sam’s* best friend. It cuddled him when life hurt too much. The liquid deception calmed him when fears raced like a freight train through his mind. But Booze betrayed Sam and took a toll on his body.

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Two months ago Sam slumped over in his well-worn recliner and suffered a massive stroke. Death knocked hard, stretching its vicious tendrils around him attempting to pull him farther and farther from God.

But death lost. Sam survived the stroke.

It’s interesting that when death becomes a reality – a certainty – that suddenly our quest for God is awakened. Something happens in our spirit when the sting of death enters a tug-of-war with the love of God fighting to give His child one more chance, one more opportunity to say yes to Him.

That’s what happened to Sam.

Sam had visited church some. He knew there was a void in his life, but he felt  unworthy of God’s love. The deception that flowed from the bottle also flowed from the lying lips of Satan and whispered self-hate, failure, worthless man into Sam’s vulnerable ears. But now. Now, Sam had tasted of God’s love. In the moments of unconsciousness he sensed the Spirit of God calling to him, fighting for him. Loving him.

A few weeks after the stroke, Sam prayed the sinner’s prayer with my husband. Not because he was a bad man. Not because he was a worthless drunk. He prayed the sinner’s prayer because he is worthy. He is worthy of a Savior who has bridged the gap between Sam and Almighty God. Sam heard the Lord calling, “Come to Me, Sam. Let me love you and give you a new life. Let me cleanse you of your painful past and repair the broken places.”

Sam shuffled into church Sunday morning. He was a tad bent over, not much, but enough to notice. His arms extended awkwardly, working to keep his balance. His skin was slightly gray with yellow undertones. Clearly, he is a sick man.

But Sam’s eyes twinkled, full of Light, with the countenance of the Lord.

Sunday’s service ended with the congregation standing and singing Amazing Grace. Sam grasped the pew against my back and pulled himself to a standing position. He stood quietly. Listening. Perhaps pondering. It’s difficult for him to sing and breathe at the same time. We ended the song with a resounding, “Praise God, Praise God, Praise God…” 

That’s when I heard him.

In my right ear came the most beautiful voice I think I’ve ever heard. Oh, it was gravelly and interrupted with short breaths, but there in a moment of high praise to our Father, Sam lifted his voice to the Lord, thanking Him for what He’s done in his broken life.

It’s a moment I’ll never forget.

“And you will say in that day,
    ‘I thank you, God.
You were angry
    but your anger wasn’t forever.
You withdrew your anger
    and moved in and comforted me.
 Yes, indeed—God is my salvation.
    I trust, I won’t be afraid.
God—yes God!—is my strength and song,
    best of all, my salvation!’
 Joyfully you’ll pull up buckets of water
    from the wells of salvation.
And as you do it, you’ll say,
    ‘Give thanks to God.
Call out his name.
    Ask him anything!
Shout to the nations, tell them what he’s done,
    spread the news of his great reputation!'”
~ Isaiah 12:1-4, MSG

* Name changed
Tweetables to Encourage Others

Ever wonder what salvation looks like? @NanJonesAuthor shares an awesome testimony. (Click to Tweet)

Deception flowing from the bottle flowed from the lying lips of Satan, “worthless man…” (Click to Tweet)

If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory  page. I’m featuring Kristyn Getty singing, “Holy Spirit, Living Breath of God.” Powerful. Soothing. Peaceful.