Recently, as I slept, I saw myself surrounded by helpless people, many of which are drug addicts, in excruciating pain. As I looked around my heart broke because I knew exactly how it might have felt being in that condition and what kind of help these people needed.
I then grabbed a few friends and together we joined hands and desire to ask God to pour out His love to alleviate the suffering of those precious souls.
Upon waking up that Sunday morning my mind was quickly cast back to the real time when myself – had it not for God’s grace – could have been in a similar situation as those desperate people I saw in the vision.
God took me back a couple of months ago when my twenty-year marriage tragically ended in divorce and resulted in losing almost everything. For weeks, I had to live on charity food. At one point I was homeless and slept rough, I eventually ended up sharing filthy overcrowded shelter with drug addicts, alcoholics and ex-offenders. For me, life without my children and my lovely wife of whom I had given so much for was not worth living. I wondered how I would cope without money and without a job. The pain was unbearable.
Ironically, this happened at the back of a Gospel Mission trip abroad that itself – in obedience to God’s very own command – cost me a lot financially. In fact, my life started to unravel whilst in the middle of one of the most powerful Services I have ever experienced in my entire 30+year Ministry life.
To be honest, I felt rejected, useless, hopeless, and cheated. To put it mildly, I was angry – with God!
I could understand why other people would treat me like that. After all, I would’ve done the same myself. But I struggled to get my head around why a loving God would allow such a tragedy to befall on me His faithful servant.
Thankfully, though, God supplied His grace to match my pain. As I fought to cope with my emotional trauma I was pushed to devote my time to fasting, praying and studying. I learned from the Holy Spirit, from other great individuals who had been through hard-times and from the scriptures.
Beneath the wreckage of my broken life I found something so precious and so eternally true , Agape- the love of God that brought a life full of peace, joy and fulfillment. This kind of Zoe life – that I talk about in detail in my new book – has an exceptional feeling that defies description.
In the world full of disappointments, hatred, pain and worry agape has become my best friend. I now enjoy my life more, love others freely and worship God even deeper because my perspective has been overhauled. Better still, God has continued to restore the things I lost. Although I’m still very much God’s work in progress my life is, in every sense, better than before.
Even as I went through these dark moments I managed to document what I called then “Power Nuggets” – thoughts (articles) that have since resulted into a fully published book tittled ‘Strength For Living’.
In this book each Power Nugget is a topic in its own right, carrying a distinct message that has the potential to help one to – not only survive hard times – but to also enjoy a fulfilled life as they did to me.
Upon reflecting all this, my heart broke again and my eyes struggled to contain the flood of tears. This time, I must say, my heart broke not because of pain or despair. My heart caved under the weight of a mixed bag of indebtedness to God and of the responsibility to help others in need of similar help.
I say this because I now know too well that adversity is a reality of life. All of us – poor and rich, educated and illiterate, young and old, religious and atheist, famous or otherwise – have the right to go through hard-times. As much as we dislike them adversities do fall on us all, at times without fault of our own and often without warning.
Although all of us do indeed go through tough times not all of us have the strength to handle them. Consequently, when problems strike many of us crumble under the wight of pain, despair and depression. In more serious cases some wreck their lives by indulging in sex, over eating, alcohol and drugs – practices that devastate millions of lives evey year. Even worse, many completely lose their will to live and take their own lives.
According to Mental Health UK more than 55,000 people end their own lives in the European Union each year. In England, that figure is 4,722 – that’s one death every two hours – and at least 10 times that number attempt suicide.
More shockingly, relationship breakdown is one of the major reasons behind suicide. Even more shocking, perharps, men are more likely to kill themselves compared to women because relationship breakdwon hits men the hardest. This explains why divorced and separated men are more likely to kill themselves compared to those who are married.
In fact, suicide is now the biggest killer of men between 20 and 49 eclipsing road accidents, cancer and coronary heart disease. I recently learned that men – particularly middle aged men of age between 35 and 54 (my age bracket) – are four times likely to take their own lives compared to women.
In truth, I was extremely privileged to fall in love with God. I use the word ‘privilege’ because I’m very much aware that falling in God’s hands is a matter of appointment rather than of choice or chance. I did not become a statistic because I was luckier or better than others. I survived a four-year adversity and discovered a fulfilling life beyond my wildest imagination because God – by His own sheer purpose, grace and power – drew me to the stream of His love.
With every privilege also comes responsibiliy. My life is no exception. This, in my mind, serves as the only explanation why God has afforded me with such a privileged life. Like Simon my life was spared because my faith did not fail. I know my faith did not fail because Jesus prayed for me. And Jesus prayed for me because he wanted me to help others (Luke 22:32).
The total volume of the preceding agruments leaves no room for doubt in my mind as to why I’m on this planet earth for now. Even as 2016 starts – and for the rest of my remaining days:
God planned to use me, through my traumatic experiences and the lessons learned, to help others also find His love and live a life that they fully deserve.
Of course I’m not alone in this mission. I believe God has chosen many other people like me out there. If you share my sentiment, lessons or experience you could be the one I’m talking about. Together we shall join hands and let God lift our friends and families out of misery.
I understand that the people that need Strength For Living the most – for example those in prisons, hospitals, hospices, care homes, rehabilitation centres, refugee camps, in our homes and on the streets – either can’t afford or can’t easily access it. With this in mind we need to mobilize enough funds to reach these precious souls.
There are many ways to achieve this, but one of those ways is by buying this very book (for yourself and for others) from any good bookshop near you or from an online shop like Amazon.
But if you buy one copy directly from us for the same price (by clicking the PayPal sign above on this page) you will be getting a copy for youself and at the same time you’ll be helping to buy a copy for some one that is in desperate need but can’t afford it.
Strength For Living
Hard Copy: £ 9.99 (plus postage and packaging)
E-book: £ 3.99 (Click here to purchase an E-Book now)
You can also give any amount (by clicking the donate button above ) that will go towards this great cause. Many thanks and expect your blessings.