Forty Years Ago

Saturday, July 11, 2015
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Listen while you read: "We Have An Anchor"1 (Lyrics)

Psalm 116:12 – How can I repay the Lord for all His goodness to me? (NIV)

Forty years ago today, I tried to take my own life by overdosing myself with the tranquilizers that I was taking. I was eighteen years old, very selfish and self-centred. I wanted to end my life as a means of punishing my parents for the misery that I felt was all their fault. I even wrote a dramatic suicide note which was very spiteful, as well as melodramatic. I felt that I had the right to end my life because it wasn't going the way I wanted.

My girlfriend and two of my best friends found me unconscious in my bedroom. When they couldn't wake me up, they realized that something serious had taken place. They very quickly took me in a taxi to the hospital's emergency room, where my stomach was pumped to get rid of the pills and lessen the impact of my foolish suicide attempt. I spent three days in the hospital recovering from my stupidity.

The following forty years could never have happened without their life-saving intervention. Somehow, God allowed me to live, through their immediate response and quick thinking. I would never have known all of the blessings that I have experienced since then: my marriage to Evelyn, the birth of my two daughters, my faith in God, and the calling that He has given me. I was young, rash, and foolish, but God was patient, loving, and merciful.

Life never gives us everything that we want, but I believe that God gives us all that we need. I owe my life to three people on earth and will always be indebted to them. I also owe absolutely everything to God, Who placed them in my life at one of its most crucial and critical times. I am eternally indebted to God's grace and goodness, which I can never repay nor give anything equal in return.

Life is good. Each day is a gift. Every friend that we have is more precious than gold. All the love that we experience in life comes directly from God. How can we ever repay those blessings? What shall we return to the Lord for all His goodness to us?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we love You. We thank You for the gift of life and love, as well as friends and faith. Help us to share these blessings with all whom we encounter and meet today. In Your holy name, we cheerfully pray. Amen.

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About the author:

John Stuart <>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Very inspiring story John. Thanks for sharing.

    Thank you for your words John. Blessings to you and yours..

    Lots of us are grateful you made through that John. Thanks for a life well lived.

    As always an uplifting meditation.

    Thanks for sharing this power revelation of God grace John, and the courage to be vulnerable for the sake of Christ. Blessings.

    Thank you, John, for sharing your story with us today. I’m sure it was difficult for you to do. I was surprised when I saw your name at the end. God surely works in mysterious ways and has a plan for each of our lives. May you be blessed as you continue to bless others.

    Pastor John, most of us never would have guessed this was your entry! Thanks being so vulnerable… and I am sure, even more useful in the Lord’s work.

    Thank you for sharing your story & your reflections with us. I am one person who also thanks your friends, as I have enjoyed the Daily Reflections that you give us.
    God bless,

    Dear John
    Your message today brought tears to my eyes and I said a prayer to God for his intervention in your young life. Thank you for your meaningful devotionals and please continue to share your thoughts.

    I have always received such a blessing from your devotionals that I felt you had experienced many trials in life but thru God’s grace have become such an encouragement to so many people struggling with the many challenges we face everyday. May God continue to bless you and your family.

    Soon to be on my way to visit my wife who is in a Nursing Home with Alzheimer’s.
    Thank you, John, for that heart-warming lesson worthy of being re-read many times. What more can I say as it brightened my day while I am anticipating a loving few hours with a lovable soul I have known as my wife for over 60 years. Seriously and truly, “Thank you, John.”

    Hi John:
    Thank you so much for honesty in bringing forth this troubled time in your life. I find that when we share these times with others, not only are we blessed but God alone knows who we have helped.
    God bless you.

    Powerful message, John.
    We are all guilty of some stupidity in our lives. Our selfish self wants more we have. Been there too, but God intervened and saved me too.
    Thank God for God. Thank you too, for your sharing.

    Dear John,
    Thank you for this moving story that is applicable to many. Apart from the context, the line that struck me was: “Life never gives us everything that we want, but I believe that God gives us all that we need.”
    In him who loves us.

    Dear John;
    Your devotional brought tears to my eyes. Your words were very moving as you shared that part of your life that you wanted to end. God is good, and knew that you would be His vessel of sharing your story with others who may be going through a time of turmoil as well. Keep writing and sharing.

    Thank you John for telling your story.
    When I was 41, I was under a lot of stress in a job in Texas.
    An ulcer attack came out of nowhere and I almost bled to death.
    That was in many years ago – I am in my 60’s now and each day is gravy!
    And I thank God each day for giving me another chance to enjoy life, love and laughter!
    So it is with you – having almost lost your life, you now live the verse of Our Lord “I have come to give you life and give it Abundantly!

    Dear John,
    Thank you for sharing this part of your life’s story. May others who are reading it, and who, for whatever reason may be contemplating ending their life, reconsider their choice; and may it also be shared by others who may have family or friends who speak of ending their life, and who may not read Daily, that they too, will put their faith in God that He will see them through whatever it is that makes them choose death over life.
    Interesting that you are the 4th minister with whom I am familiar whose wife is named Evelyn, which in Hebrew means Life, and in Celtic, Light. Surely they are a sign of a gift from God.

    Dear John Stuart,
    Turn your eyes upon Jesus;
    Look full in his wonderful face;
    And the things of earth will look strangely dim
    in the light of his glory and grace.
    My verse (Does the third line scan?):
    Keep your eyes upon Jesus;
    His power he gives for your days;
    And the things of his love are salvation and glory.
    Thank you God for your presence always.
    Keep writing.
    Dear Rev. Stuart,
    Thank you for today’s devotional. My eldest daughter passed at her own hand. Sadly, we didn’t find her in time. I thank God for you, and your messages are always blessings to me. Blessings.

    What an inspiring story! (“Forty Years Ago”)
    Thank you for sharing your experience. I found it deeply meaningful.

    Hi John,
    Thank you for sharing part of your personal life with your readers. I always find your devotionals well written and often they have given me another way of looking at a situation. You have made a difference in many peoples’ lives.

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