It’s been 26 years since I almost quit too soon. I thought about that today while driving to an out of town ministry opportunity. It’s been 26 years since I contemplated driving my van into a telephone pole at 70 miles an hour.
Really, you say? Why would someone like me ever think of taking your life?
Because I thought my life was ruined. And it was all my fault.
You see, due to my sins, my addictions, my secret life, I had thrown away my marriage of 21 years, my son who was 14 at the time and long time friends. I’d also been removed from the church my wife and I had pioneered and pastored for 10 years.
I almost quit too soon.
Since that day my marriage, family, friends and ministry have been restored. It wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t something that took place overnight; but it happened. And I’ve lived to see some incredible things take place; things I would have missed if I had quit too soon.
I remember talking with my counselor during this terrible time. I had told him what I had been thinking while driving in the country on old highway 6. He got right in my face (something he did quite often those days) and reminded me that even though I had lost my “ministry”, and probably was going to lose my wife, I still had a responsibility to be a dad to our son, and a person God could depend on.
At that point I couldn’t see how anyone, including God, would want anything to do with a jerk like myself.
But I didn’t quit because God and others wouldn’t let me quit.
They kept reminding me of God’s truth.
Truth such as, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 ESV)
And, “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” (Romans 11:29 ESV)
Eventually I began to see a glimmer of hope. God was doing miracles in my life. He was restoring my life and bringing His glory into view. Beyond my wildest dreams, He was showing Himself as more than enough for every part of my life.
Including all my failures.
Like I said before, I almost quit too soon.
Too soon to see my marriage restored. Too soon to see my son graduate from high school, eventually marry a wonderful woman, and just 11 months ago have a beautiful son.
Wow. I could’ve quit before all of that.
But thank God I didn’t.
How about you? Has life become such a burden you feel you can’t take any more? Is your life out of control and you think you’ve hurt too many people? Do you see suicide as the best solution?
Don’t quit too soon.
There is more to living than what you’re experiencing at this moment. There is help available, though you may not see it yet.
And some day, like me, you will look back on this tough thing you’re engulfed in, give a sigh of relief and say…
“I could’ve quit too soon.”