“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
“Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke uponyou and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”
Christians tend to judge. While we are commanded to rebuke the sin of our brothers and sisters in Christ, we still must love them. Sometimes that gets lost along the way. However, God is always there to provide redemption, reconciliation, and restoration. Whether it is physical, spiritual, or emotional restoration, God is able to bring it to pass.
I’ve shared my flaws and failures in the past. Aside from my own example, there are many who go through patches in their lives when they walk out of God’s will and really struggle with life.
Back in the early/mid ’90s, there was a contemporary Christian singer named Michael English. He had a powerful voice and all of the fame to go with it. I even went to one of his solo concerts. During that concert he announced an upcoming tour he would be doing with a gentleman from the group with which he sang and another group. Later in that tour there was an awards show for Christian/Gospel music. English won many of the awards, and he certainly deserved them for his talent. But, I remember watching that awards show, and I could tell something wasn’t right with him (felt it at that concert, too).
It was disclosed the next day that he and a young, married lady (he was married, too) from the tour, were having an affair. Needless to say, scandal rocked the Christian music community and the self-righteous were about to make mince-meat of the guy.
I was shocked and saddened by his actions, and I could totally understand why his music was ripped from the airwaves. Sin happens, though. People are imperfect. It is what we do with that sin that matters. As his brothers and sisters in Christ, folks should have rebuked him, but not turned their backs on him; however, many, even pastors did leave him to drown in his self-loathing and his lost nature. An already lost, young man was now just left on his own to deal with his sin, deal with a divorce, a lost career, a damaged voice (even lost that beautiful voice for a while), and then left to deal with addictions. The church should have been there for him, but they, too, were imperfect.
I’m sure there were people that tried to help him, but only God could truly pull English up out of what he was in and put him back on the right path.
And God was faithful. In fact, God is still reopening doors that were once closed to English.
God has repaired English’s life. He even has that beautiful, strong voice again.
When I see Michael English sing, now, I see a man with enough salt in him to season the world with the words that show God’s true ability to redeem, reconcile, and restore. I hurt when I know one of God’s children has lost his or her way. I’ve been there and know the confusion and pain. You’re so stuck in that spot and wonder if you’ll ever get out. You forget you can just call on God, because you feel so hopeless, helpless, and lost. You even feel like you can no longer call on God. But, unlike the human imperfection English encountered via judgment and turned backs, God had his arms open, waiting for him.
Fortunately for Michael English, his desire to be on the right path with God kicked in, and he is not only being blessed professionally, but more importantly, English is also experiencing the blessing of a stronger, richer spiritual life.
Here is English performing in 2008.
“Daystar”–Michael English (w/Guy Penrod & Wes Hampton)