Monday, June 29, 2015

Bible devotion: Forty Years Ago - Psalm 116:12

Psalm 116:12           What shall I return to the Lord for all His goodness to me?

            Forty years ago this month, 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-centered. 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 Rhona, and two of my best friends, Stevie and Rose Mary, 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 ER, where my stomach was pumped to get rid of the pills, in order to 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 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 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 of times. I am eternally indebted to God’s grace and goodness, which I can never repay nor given 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 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.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment or ask questions about today’s message, please send him an email to

Today’s image is John’s latest bird drawings called “Allyson’s Bird.” If you would like to view a larger version, please click on this link: Lilac Bird.

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