This is from Tony Peterson. I have developed a relationship with Tony through volunteering at the Rescue Mission. He graduated from their recovery program this past January and writes daily reflections and send them to me. I am hoping to help him set up a blog so that all can check in every day to read his devotionals. Tony was scheduled to preach at our joint worship service at Mountain Gate before everything was closed down. Today's writing from Tony really touched me with the message of hope we have in our Lord and Saviour. Here is his testimony:
“This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.”
God’s promises are a powerful tool for all Christians, they were especially so for me in early recovery. Today is a very special date for me. One year ago today I was four months into a year long residential recovery program. When I got to the program I was hopeless, my life was in despair. My wife had left me and was barely talking to me, I had wrecked all my important relationships, my finances were a mess, and I was unhealthy. A year ago today I went home for a felony court date. It seemed obvious that I was going to get some time, and so that is what I was preparing my mind for. My wife had let me stay the previous night over her house because the court date was early in the morning. So a year and a day ago from today, I was with my wife and told her, “I know it sounds crazy, and I know there is so much that needs to be worked on in my life, and I know I have court tomorrow, but I feel God’s call to be a pastor”. I said those words with nervousness because my life was still so jacked up and I only had a couple months sober. I’ll never forget her response, “so you’re gonna be some kind of felon preacher”. I didn’t go on much more about it. The next morning of the court date, I woke up to her stressing early in the morning. She was walking in and out of the bedroom saying, “oh my gosh, oh my gosh”. I got up and said what is it? She then held up a stick to say we were going to have a baby. After a shocking hug and embrace I distinctively remember holding hands and praying this exact prayer, “Lord, you have given us one miracle today, we need one more. If it be in Your will for me to be a minister I’m asking you take this felony away.” All last year I trained my self to stop saying things will be fine and started to believe that Jesus was going to give me the abundant life He promises to all. When things got stressful instead of telling my wife it will be fine I told her it will be abundantly good, He promised. A year ago I was so new in recovery, I had a failing marriage in which I just found out a baby was being added to. I had no job, no money, I was in debt, I had lots of broken relationships, and no trust. But, one thing I had and truly believed in was God’s promises. This was a year ago today. So, 365 days later, the Lord has kept every single promise. I am a full time intern pastor, I have a scholarship for Bible college, I’m debt free, I off probation as of today, the felony was changed to a PBJ, so therefore will go away with a soon expungement, my marriage is thriving, and our baby is beautiful, super loved, and healthy. I’ve been blessed so much in one year. My wife, who has always been the bread winner, is able to be a stay at home mom, which she always dreamed of. I tell you this to brag on God’s power in my life, “for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9). God can take the most weak, broken situation and completely and radically change it in one short year, my life is a testimony to that, and if you consider it, your life probably is to! One thing that allowed Jesus to radically change my life from one year ago today, is that I truly believed in His promises for my life. Today, take hold of God’s promises for you. Pray, read the Word, and start to believe in His promises with a hopeful expectation that they will happen. You never know what He has for you 365 days from now.