Stuart's Blog

It is too wonderful. You are doing the job you always longed for. Your kids are wonderfully happy and bringing nothing but joy to your soul. Real friends, voices, emotions and even touch. The incredible sensation of things hoped for coming to past. Family you thought had long gone are having supper with you. Such warm feelings deep inside, can this be real?

Or the other side, sometimes our worst fears realized in ways to unspeakable to deal with. A horrific episode from the past that you keep reliving. You cannot escape it, like torturers Groundhog Day. The memories twisting inside you until you feel like you are going to die from the sheer weight of the pain. Darkness is your companion, sorrow the scarf around your neck and head. This is your reality and there is no escape.

Waking up in the morning, dazed and confused, the incredible reality that you had been living in was nothing but a dream. Collections of disjointed, half-recalled memories, knitted together with the imagination of a brain unhindered by day to day pressures. Skipping from one memory and scenario to the next with no apparent cohesion. No order of service or bigger picture and therefore no way to trace back your journey to find meaning and purpose. You feel lost!!!

Many times we feel this way. LOST!!! Like a time traveller, we feel that our lives are actually unhinged from reality. The ‘me’ people see is not the “me” I see. But it seems there is no escape from this. An endless round of confusion and bewilderment. Life never seems to work out the way we like it, and if there is a God, then He is obviously far too busy with more important people than to have time for me. We look for direction and long for someone to point us in the right way. We wish that all too often it is decimated by a catastrophe of reality. Trivial events blew up out of all proportion. Words you say, meaning well but taken as poison. Actions that do not have the consequences you expected. Jobs not having the fulfilment they promised. This is not what was advertised you think. Life wasn’t supposed to turn out like this.

But this is your life. You own it. Right now, do you feel like it owns you? Do you feel that the events of yesterday will always come back to haunt you and dictate how you should feel or act today? Are you lost in a desert island where there are no trees with leaves of healing but only stinging nettles and thorn bushes?

Let me say again you own stewardship of your life!!! The incredible grace of God has allowed us to live every moment to the max. And when we look at life, past, present and future, through His incredible eyes of wonder, then even in the darkest black we see wonderful shades of colour we never knew existed.

As we trust in Him who made us, we find that even the most painful memories are filled with opportunities to see the wonder and awe of Christ Almighty. To experience the healing power of His love. Like a kaleidoscope of colours, richer than we have ever been able to take in before. The disjointed memories and half-remembered hurts; the pain of words spoke and words not spoken; the hidden miners of hurt deep within our hearts, where others have gone before and battered on the walls with sledgehammers of pain and abuse, all of these take on a different hue in the light of His love.

His wonderful Spirit wants to take you on a journey. Visit your life with Him and look through His eyes. Allow Him to speak to you of a grace that frees you to forgive and a grace that teaches you how to walk in it. See the uninhibited relationship of the Trinity. No self-seeking or position grabbing, but only an unconditional relationship and how Christ longs to commune with you on that level.

All of a sudden you start to see that your whole life was never lost, you were just listening to the wrong guides. Each precious second of your life was measured out by God long before you were ever able to dream. Each major decision He had made sure He was there to help you in it if you would only listen for the soft, breezy whisper of His voice.

The value of each second of your life is determined by you. If you live to be 40, are your seconds twice as valuable as someone who lives to be 80? This answer you do not have but you do have now. The map out of your isolation and disorientation starts on a lonely hill far away in time and geography. A man is nailed to a cross between two others. It is a death of disgrace reserved for the lowest. People looked on and sneered looking only at the moment and what they seen with their eyes. If they had listened then they would have seen that this death was for their lives. That the darkness that shrouded the Middle Eastern afternoon was actually filled with such wonder and radiance and pregnant with such hope for all those who dared to look through it to the heart that was beating on that cross. “Son this is for you!” Did the voice of the Holy Spirit whisper to Barabbas, we don’t know but He is still whispering that to us?

A faithful Companion awaits you in this second, the most valuable second you will ever have -NOW- to start showing you the true meaning and value of your life. Walk with Him from Calvary’s dusty road and listen to Him. Adventure through His Word as you see the significance He has breathed into seemingly insignificant moments in the lives of everyday people. A young man offering a sacrifice of an animal. An old man listening to His voice and building a boat, a disreputable woman in a walled city helping two strangers and receiving a great reward, a young shepherd facing up to a mighty warrior, a fisherman leaving his nets to follow a preacher, an Ethiopian travelling in his wagon, a young man suffering from sickness befriended and mentored by an older, ex-religious zealot who had literally been knocked off his high horse.

You may not know what part your second plays in eternity, but you know what part it plays in your NOW. Listen to Him and invest this second in Him. It pays the best dividend.

(I have written this without rechecking or editing as I wanted it to reflect my “second” accurately so please forgive any grammatical errors.

Psalms 139:1-24 (MSG)
1 A David psalm God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand. 2 I’m an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking. 3 You know when I leave and when I get back; I’m never out of your sight. 4 You know everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence. 5 I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too— your reassuring presence, coming and going. 6 This is too much, too wonderful— I can’t take it all in! 7 Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit? To be out of your sight? 8 If I climb to the sky, you’re there! If I go underground, you’re there! 9 If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon, 10 You’d find me in a minute— you’re already there waiting! 11 Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark! At night I’m immersed in the light!” 12 It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you; night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you. 13 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. 14 I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvellously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! 15 You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. 16 Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day. 17 Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful! God, I’ll never comprehend them! 18 I couldn’t even begin to count them— any more than I could count the sand of the sea. Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you! 19 And please, God, do away with wickedness for good! And you murderers—out of here!— 20 all the men and women who belittle you, God, infatuated with cheap god-imitations. 21 See how I hate those who hate you, God, see how I loathe all this godless arrogance; 22 I hate it with pure, unadulterated hatred. Your enemies are my enemies! 23 Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about; 4 See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong— then guide me on the road to eternal life.

This POST is part of a wider collection to show the journey that would eventually lead me to the cross of Jesus Christ, my personal redemption, and my journey of faith afterwards. If you would like to know more of my story, please click on my “About” page and take it from there.

Alternatively, you can visit the Media Links page and see a short visit done by BBC Radio Scotland for an interview I did there.

If you or someone you love, needs help with the Christian response to addiction, or if you would just like to know more or need hope, please click on one of the following:

The Haven
Teen Challenge Strathclyde
Teen Challenge UK
Teen Challenge Global
Street Connect
Bethany Christian Trust
Jumping Jacks Outreach
Cornerstone Assemblies of God, Maryland
Broken Chains Ayr
Easterhouse Community Church
Stuart Patterson

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