Knocking on Heaven's Door
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- Format: Folded Tract
- Size: 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches
- Pages: 6
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“You’ll find your peace through Jesus Christ.”
That’s what was told to me by an old woman on the bus one morning in 2002.
My day started like any other … strung out from a night of smoking crack and loud pounding on my motel room door, the manager outside demanding I pay for another day or get out. I filled my pipe with my last piece of crack and smoked it to clear away the cobwebs from my head, then caught a bus with my last dollar. I needed to go rob some store to get money to buy more crack. We were the only two on the bus. I noticed her looking at me thoughtfully for a minute or two when she said:
“You’re lost and alone and your life is not going the way it should.”
I just looked at her and hung my head.
“You’ll find your peace through Jesus Christ” she continued.
Something changed inside of me right then: a spark was lit. Though I was a drug addict, those words of truth, “Peace through Jesus Christ” became a planted seed … and they saved my life.
Before I continue, I want to tell you a little about myself. In the spring of 2001 I was on top of the world. I was young and had a great job with an excellent salary. I had a wife & three children, about $12,000 in the bank, 2 cars, a beautiful house with a large yard and pool. I was very proud of these things and thought I had done it all myself … God was not a big factor in my life, you see.
I used to play in a rock band and I “partied” a lot. I had never been “hooked” on anything before. So when I had a chance to try “crack” I never considered it would take over my life. I just thought I would try it once for kicks … big mistake.
One Friday night I smoked crack all night. I thought maybe someday I’d do it again. “Someday” turned into the very next weekend, then the next and the next. Soon, I found myself getting high in the evening after work. It got worse from there. I’d stay up all night smoking crack and would try to work the next day without sleep. It got so bad that I would get high at lunch. Needless to say, I lost my job. I paid the rent and bills for October from my savings and continued to get high. By the time Christmas rolled around I was broke! I had very little groceries and I could not even buy my children a present because I had spent it all on crack. I was evicted the day after Christmas. Eventually I lost all I ever had and loved, including: my cars, house, my wife & children, my father (he died), my brother and sister (they disowned me), all my belongings … everything.
I also lost my self-esteem and self-respect.
You should know I did not grow up in a dysfunctional family or some other weird situation. My father and mother were wonderful parents: they both worked, they never argued in front of me, they did not smoke or drink or cuss. I was not neglected in any way and we went to Church regularly. In school I was smart, played sports, and was very popular. I’ve met many drug addicts who come from dysfunctional families and broken homes, but a drug addict can come from anywhere. I believe we choose who we become; everybody knows right from wrong. To be brutally honest with myself … I chose to be an addict. I am responsible for my own choices. I chose a life of sin. Without God, sin will take over your life. There is no middle ground. You either serve God … or you serve the devil.
In 2002 I was arrested for Commercial Burglary 4 times! It didn’t slow me down at all. I was out of control. I was a slave to crack and I hated myself.
So this gets me back to the beginning of my story, strung out on a bus and a little old lady planted a seed that day. I found myself wanting something more; while my body craved the drug, my spirit craved the Lord!
Finally, in early 2003, I had really hit rock bottom. I was all sucked up and skinny and I slept under a bridge near a local church called Cornerstone. I stayed there for about a week and late at night (or early in the morning) I would walk to the church. It felt … comforting near the church. I would peek through the glass doors and I would wish someone would come out and invite me in and talk with me. I would wish that there were people there who knew me and were glad to see me. I would wish that I could have the strength to go to church on a Sunday morning rather than get high. I would also wish that I could play guitar there … that I could play for Jesus.
A couple of weeks later I was sitting under a bush smoking crack in the rain with only a couple of dollars in my pocket. I began to cry. I was tired of living in sin, tired of getting high, tired of being a fugitive. I didn’t want that life anymore but I didn’t know how I could get out of it. I sat there and cried and then I remembered that old lady on the bus. She spoke of peace through Jesus. The Bible says to seek and you will find, ask and you will receive, knock and the door will be opened to you. Well, I sat there under that bush in the rain and I was seeking, I was asking, and I was knocking on heaven’s door. I cried out to the Lord to help me. “Help me Jesus,” I cried out as I wept in the rain, “please help me.” Well, God answered my prayer … I got arrested! The Lord began to reveal himself to me in jail. He showed me in Isaiah 38:20 that I would play music for him in church. I had no idea how it could happen because I did not have a church, I didn’t even know anybody in church! I gave my life to the Lord in jail and began to lead Bible studies and prayer groups in jail. I did some prison time and I led Bible studies there, too.
As a condition upon release I entered an inpatient rehabilitation program for one year at the Fresno Rescue Mission. I became the Chaplain’s Assistant and he gave me a guitar and invited me to play and sing at his church. Then one day a man from Cornerstone Church came to the Rescue Mission. He invited me to Cornerstone and asked me to play guitar in the men’s worship team!
To this day I am just amazed at what God has done. He showed me his plan for me while I was locked up, and here it was actually happening, I had friends at church and people were glad to see me. I was leading worship at church … simply amazing ... all the things I had wished for when I would walk up to the church at 2 in the morning!
Today, as I write this, I’ve been a worship leader at Cornerstone for nine years, plus I go back to the Fresno Rescue Mission every month and preach the Gospel to the homeless and men in the recovery program. God has blessed me so much; I’ve been reunited with my family, and best of all, I’m going to Heaven.
I want you to know this: I’m nobody special. God delivered me and He can and will deliver you also … from whatever your hurt or hangup may be. God is in the business of restoration. He’ll restore your marriage, your family, your life … anything. Just “ask and you shall receive.” Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. The only road to salvation is through Him. All you need to do to be saved is to repent of your sins, believe in your heart that Jesus died for the sins of the world and ask Him to live inside your heart. It’s that easy! Why not do it now.