This Old Box

No matter how old you are, you have probably saved special items from your past that bring back nostalgic memories. Recently, I went through some of my old things and, as I began to reminisce, I noticed that most of my mementos from the first 30 years of my life easily fit into a small box. Something else I noticed was that, unfortunately, each one of them brought me feelings of shame and regret.

Reflecting back, my life started out just like everyone else’s does —as an innocent child— but the older I got, the more I wanted to experience all the pleasures this world had to offer. My childhood innocence was quickly lost, and I knew the things I was doing were wrong. Initially, I thought it was fun, and I believed I was in control. Parties, drugs, alcohol, and lust became part of my everyday life. However, each sin led to another, and it wasn’t long before I was deeply entangled in a web of sin and unable to break free. Sin had imprisoned me.

Proverbs 5:22: “His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.”

I had a best friend who was very popular and known as an all-around good guy. He was the varsity quarterback and even volunteered as a summer camp counselor for underprivileged kids. We both partied a lot and even played in a band together for ten years, lasting long after our high school days. Sadly, one Christmas day, he died from a drug overdose right in front of his beautiful wife and children. His wooden flute sits in my old box of mementos, and it is all I have left to remember him.

Psalm 34:18: “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.”

John 10:10: “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

His death greatly affected me, but I continued spiraling downward as I wanted to believe it would never happen to me. But then, on one drug-soaked day, God began dealing with my heart, and I finally saw my sad condition. I thought to myself, “What do I have to show for my life?” I was married with a young daughter, but I was ashamed of what I had become. I knew that if I continued on this path, I would end up dead just like all of my friends. What kind of legacy would I leave my family? I knew I had to change, but on my own, I could not do it.

2 Corinthians 7:10: “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”

In deep, deep sorrow, I prayed and sought the Lord, and He reached way down and gloriously freed me from the shackles of sin that had bound me! He forgave me and gave my life a brand-new start.

This New Box

Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Dear Reader, I had nothing worthy to offer God, but He traded my life that was hopeless and gave me a life full of blessings instead. As I have reflected back over the years and now consider the contents of my “new box,” I am overwhelmed with thankfulness. God has given me a happy marriage and a wonderful family with nine grandchildren. Most importantly, He gave me a clean and pure life with peace and joy that could never compare to anything the world could ever offer me.

Matthew 11:28: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

It doesn’t matter where you are in life or what sins you are entangled in. You may feel like you have no hope, but God is a mighty God of hope who will deliver you if you repent and turn from your sins.