Illuminations: Patrick’s Story

Dec 22, 2022 | Articles

The best part of my day—every Monday and Wednesday afternoon

Is the fist bump my trainer gives at the start of our workout: “Hey! I’m glad you’re here.” The second comes at the end: “Job well done!”

Just a fist bump. Yet so much more. Because it’s from someone who’s always smiling, always upbeat, always positive that everything’s going to turn out good. No matter the kind of day I’m having, Patrick makes it right. And everyone at the
gym respects him as much as I do.

This is a good thing. But it’s especially inspiring when you know the story behind the story. I was blessed that Patrick shared it with me. I don’t exactly remember how it came up in a conversation, but I will never forget what he told me.

Patrick had three brothers and a sister. One day in 2007, three thugs came to the family home and forced the oldest brother (age 26) to go with them to a room somewhere in
town where they proceeded to beat him to death. Three against one. Apparently he owed money to someone. Two hundred dollars. A life snuffed out over a measly $200!

The beating took place over a span of eight hours. During this agonizing punishment, not one person stepped up to save him.

Patrick said that one of the most difficult times was when he had to sit through the trial and see all the pictures of the battered body and to hear the gruesome details of how his
brother had been tortured for those eight hours. His mother and the rest of his family watched alongside Patrick.It’s hard to imagine how painful this must have been for the family.

How does anyone bounce back from something so gutwrenching?

Later we talked again and I explained that I really needed to know how he’d manage to survive the experience and come out the other side the upbeat fellow he now was.

Patrick’s answer was quick and to the point. Crossing his arms, he leaned back in his chair and said boldly, “I’m a Christian!”

I’ve known a lot of people with messed-up pasts and so many of them do not come through unscathed. Some even ended up in prison. Why do some make it and others do
not? Patrick hit the nail on the head: when you have Christ in your life, He handles the impossible for you.

Scripture tells us in Mark 10:17, “With man, this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” This is an absolute. He can handle everything that
comes our way, if only we let Him. And that’s the key. God invites us to take our troubles to His throne in heaven, and leave them there. Our problem: we might take them there,
but we tend to snatch them back. Perhaps we think we can do a better job than God.

The Father wants us to give our pain to Him and leave it there. He assures us that we can always trust Him to bring good out of the bad. This is His promise and God always
keeps His promises.

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