NOTHING CAN KEEP GOD’S LOVE AWAY FROM US
Christian Artist Zach Williams’ wife Crystal grew up surrounded by adults who were supposed to protect her but ended up hurting her time and time again. Her parents were addicted to meth, so you can only imagine the care she never received when they were high. As a result, her home-life was full of misery, feeling unwanted, and being given a poor diet. However, that’s not the worst. While she was still a little girl, she was sexually abused by a family member. She carried that pain all alone. Crystal looked for ways to numb her tortured mind, and by only 10 years old, she started smoking pot and drinking.
Soon after becoming a teenager, Crystal left home and sold drugs to support herself. This gave her the feeling of being in control. However, one night, Crystal was headed to a party, and something or someone seemed to be speaking to her mind and heart. The voice kept telling her that she needed to get out of that kind of life. It would only lead to total ruin, possibly years behind bars for selling narcotics. That’s when Crystal decided to respond, and that feeling helped her get off of drugs.
After a few bad relationships, she met a singer-songwriter named Zach Williams at one of his concerts. Unlike Crystal, Zach came from a Christian family, and although the two weren’t living up to God’s expectations, He was definitely working in them. After they got married, Zach was touring with his rock band overseas. He, too, had fallen in love with drugs and alcohol. Finally, Crystal went to Zack’s Christian parents and asked for their help. During the tour, he felt God calling him to get out. So, he quit the band and begin turning his life back over to Jesus, just as he was taught to do as a child.
Everything started to change as Crystal and Zach grew in their relationship with the Lord. Crystal finally learned about what it meant to truly be loved and fully turned her life over to Jesus Christ. Now, Zach is a popular Christian artist, and Crystal cares for their two children. And seeing where this family is now because of the love of God is truly moving. What a powerful testimony to show God’s amazing grace! In 2018, Zach won a Grammy Award for his hit song, “Chain Breaker.”
This redemption from the pit of sin did not occur just because God felt sorry for them. Moses told the children of Israel: “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deu. 31:8). What that means for Zack and Crystal is that when they reached to place to surrender their hearts and lives to God, He was already there waiting for them.
When the people of Israel were afraid of not being able to live in peace because of the enemies all around them, God gave the prophet Isaiah this message: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isa 41:10).
And it was the Apostle Paul who gave hope to the believers in his day who faced possible troubles and difficulties. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he told them: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-7).
But it was the Psalmist David who gives us a very encouraging prayer to pray when we too face hardships that seem to be beyond our coping ability. His words still bring comfort today: Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, You are with me. Your rod of protection and staff of rescue comfort me. You provide for my needs while I’m surrounded by hostile forces. My heart overflows with joy. Surely goodness and mercy will be my companions the rest of my life until I become a resident in the House of my Lord forever. (Psa. 23:4-6). – Dr. Robert R. Seyda