A Great Comeback

The legendary singer Johnny Cash was known as the Man in Black, but in a lot of senses he could be called the king of comebacks. He spent much of his life coming back from addictions and problems that tore through his family like tornadoes. Cash’s comebacks were genuine turnarounds, but then he would slip back into a lifestyle that as a child of God he had deplored. He had career comebacks, too, returning from near oblivion to the top of the charts in the country, rock, and gospel music worlds.

Possibly his biggest comeback came near the end of his life. Johnny was nearly blind by then, suffering with advanced diabetes. He could no longer walk and was under constant nursing care. He had suffered the loss of his pillar of strength, his beloved wife, June Carter Cash. In the car on the way home from her funeral, Johnny turned to his son and said, “I have to get to work. I have to get to the studio.”

Four days later, they were in the studio recording, laying down track after track. ‘Such resolve could only have come from God,” said John Carter Cash. “The place where he found the greatest solace was in the studio.” In a burst of strength, Johnny recorded six-ty more songs in the few months he had left. He presented a surprise public concert, singing, among other songs, the iconic “Ring of Fire.” It was a comeback that was a tribute to his wife and his God. Johnny Cash died September 12, 2003, just a little more than three months after his wife June. He stepped out of his personal ring of fire and into the arms of his Father, the last comeback he’d ever need.

Whatever we need to come back from— fear of this ridiculous virus, loss of employment or financial security, some long lasting illness that has taken its toll, our own faults and failures— whatever it is, I want you to hear this: if Jesus is alive from the dead — and He is — and if Jesus has conquered death and hell — and He has — then it is possible for every person to have a comeback story.

It’s never too late.

You’re never too far gone.

You’re not too old.

You’re certainly never too far away from your Heavenly Father.

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