His hit records, money, and fame didn’t get Johnny Cash special accommodations at the El Paso city jail, where he was being held for smuggling and concealing drugs.
He had ruined his life and let down family and friends. He imagined his daughters hearing about what happened and crying, and he started to weep himself.
“I don’t ever want out of this cell again,” he sobbed. “I just want to stay here alone and pray that God will forgive me and then let me die.”
The most miserable man or woman around is the one who knows the will of God and does not do it. Cash was that man. He fell into a state of deep despondency.
He went home to Casitas Springs with his tail firmly tucked between his legs. Vivian and the kids welcomed him with open, loving arms, and Cash came clean about his addiction. He vowed to kick it. For the first time in his life, he said, he felt real shame.
Shame has its place in a person’s life. It means your conscience is working.
Cash was really skating on thin ice. God would graciously give him another chance, and he would return to his old ways again.
The overwhelming emotional stress and strain took a toll on Vivian’s health and finally led her to file for a divorce.
When I kept it all inside, my bones turned to powder, my words became daylong groans. The pressure never let up; all the juices of my life dried up. (Psalm 32:3–4 MSG)
Have you ever felt the way the psalmist describes?
Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:21–22 NKJV)
No matter how many times Johnny sinned against the Lord, God stood ready to forgive. How does the truth of God’s unending mercies affect your life today?
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9 NKJV)
Why is God so patient with us? Does this truth affect the way that we see and treat others?
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