By Greg Laurie
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.”—Isaiah 43:1
After a close-call episode involving a plunge into a freezing lake, psychiatrist Dr. Winston gently but firmly laid it on the line to Johnny: “I’ve never known of anyone as far gone as you are to really whip it. Only you can do it, and it would be a lot easier if you let God help you.”
Cash knew he was right. God had been waiting all this time for him to come back. June and Dr. Winston would do all they could for him, but unless Cash himself summoned the fortitude and discipline required, the battle would never be won. For that he needed God’s help more than ever. He had to ask for and depend on it.
The time had come for the redemption of Johnny Cash. But one cannot redeem themselves. Only God can do it. The word redeem literally means, “to buy out of a slave market.” Cash was a slave to drugs, among other things. Only Jesus Christ could redeem him, and the singer knew that.
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