A few days ago, I had a thought about an old friend of mine when I came across a song that he liked so much back in the day. I’m almost too embarrassed to mention the song but it was Neil Diamond’s “Hello Again”. The song references “I just called to say hello” and my ole friend would always call me and say hello. I have some very fond memories of him because we grew up together. We would talk for hours about football, girls, and every other subject meaningful to a boy growing up in the south. We also argued about church things, especially the Methodist and Pentecostal movements (he would be surprised I’m a missionary today). I was with him through many of his girlfriends and a couple of his marriages, with him through the death of his dad and brother in law. After the divorce from his first wife, these pains took their toll on his life, and he began to battle with alcohol. We both had our struggles with alcohol, but dealing with the grief, guilt, and failure of his life was very hard for him to handle. We had many conversations over his last days, and he was consumed with his past (before all the tragedies in his life had occurred). He just did not want to talk about the future or face the reality of today. He had such a fear of the future and did not want to take any more chances, because he did not want to fail again. He was such a big part of my life, and I still miss him to this day.
Years before his death, my life was spinning out of control. I was struggling with alcohol and drugs and unable to let go of the past and face the future. I had made a mess of my life with my family and friends. As I happened to be sitting in jail as a result of my actions (solitaire confinement to be exact), it was the first time I was able to think about all my actions and deal with the guilt. I knelt down by the cot in the jail cell and told the Lord, “Not my way anymore, but Your way!” That was the day the Lord forgave me, and I forgave myself. I still, to this day, ask people to forgive me for all of my actions. Please forgive me. I let go of what had been holding me back all those years and gave it to the one person who could take it, Jesus. I was ready to face the future with no fear and no guilt. Now, giving to God is the easy part, but walking it out everyday, was, and still is the harder part. I do not want to limit God in my life anymore.
I tried my best to reach my friend and tell him that there is another way and let’s face the future together. He knew his destiny was heaven, but he was not willing to face the reality of today. The lesson I’m sharing today is to always humble yourself (submit), repent (change your mind), confess everything (and give it to God), take the limits off of God in your life and see how everything changes!
Daniel Chance Galloway