It was a shocking display of all-out defiance. Minutes before his execution, convicted Oklahoma City bomber, Timothy McVeigh, gave a handwritten copy of William Ernest Henley’s poem “Invictus” to the prison warden. The final lines of that ominous ode of defiance still send shivers up my spine:
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
Sadly, McVeigh’s last sentiments represent how so many people around the world view their lives: they see themselves living under the absolute sovereign control of self. Thankfully, God specializes in reaching the unreachable—those determined to live as captains of their own souls:
We know that God, in his justice, will punish anyone who does such things. Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgment when you do the same things? Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? (Romans 2:2–4)
Maybe you have a teenager, a young-adult child, or a long-time friend caught in the riptide of self-rule. Perhaps you’re among those who know first-hand the unending pain of a wayward daughter or grandson incarcerated because of bad choices. Your heartache is severe.
You need to know that no one—let me repeat, no one!—is unreachable and beyond the loving touch of God. He specializes in reaching the unreachable, bringing home the wayward, and redeeming the unredeemable. If in His kindness He has done that for us, He can do that for your son or daughter, brother or friend. He is a friend of sinners! Praise His glorious name. Trust me: He neither slumbers nor sleeps. He’s at work. Even better: trust Him!
Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord...Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved.