”Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits - who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's." (Psalm 103:2-5 NIV)
At the beginning of last century, there was a choir in the Salvation Army in Jonkoping, which consisted mostly of converted alcoholics. They were people who had their life completely transformed, and even though the vocal and musical quality was not exceptional, the choir received a lot of attention.
One newspaper wrote: "Their songs were wretched, but their salvation certainly rang true!" To this replied one of the choir members: "What if they had written to the contrary, their singing was brilliant, but their salvation a sorry sight." Another choir member testified in ‘småländska’, the provincial dialect and said:
“See, God’s not as dangerous as widely believed. Yes, I remember how it was when he got hold of me. I had piled up so many sins that I could have filled knapsacks to overflowing, and therefore I was so afraid understanding what He wanted for me. Then I ran away, with every ounce of strength, with Him close behind. But, in the end I collapsed, and lay there in misery. But there stood God in front of me casting a mantle over me, and can you guess its name? Well, it was called "Grace and Mercy", and I have held tight to it ever since that day! Hallelujah! "(From; "Freedom Is the Best Thing ... "Thirty-five years with Freedom Choir in Jönköping)
That which the Psalmist wrote about almost a thousand years before Christ, the grace and mercy of God and that which the saved alcoholic wrote on the same theme, is also valid today.
God searches for people who want to give Him full control over their lives. And when someone - an alcoholic or the ‘average Joe’ - allows this to happen, that person’s life is changed.
Lord, thank you that you offer people a real salvation yet today. Help us to not give up until we have reached full knowledge that your love is freely available for all.