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The Raging of the River of Despair

A Personal Testimony by Ken Simmons

Ken Simmons, Author



We all know of the disaster a flooding river can cause. It is unmerciful, powerful, and completely destructive.


A person’s life can become just as a flooding river. Just like the flooding river, it can destroy, just as completely and indiscriminately.


My life raged like that of a flooding river. I was saved when I was young, yet my sister Becky loved Jesus more than I did.


“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”

(Matthew 22:37) NIV


Becky drowned in a river near our home at age seven. Unable to understand why God took one such as her, I turned vehemently against any and all of the things that God stood for.


Unbeknownst to me, I was headed for a life of living hell. Because I had turned against God, the world, and even my parents and family.


I sought any and all lusts and pleasures of the flesh and mind. With a total passion, I denied myself nothing! Cigarettes, Meth, Alcohol, Marijuana, PCP, LSD, Cocaine, and all the kinds of sex I could get!


Yet in all the pleasures of the world, I couldn’t find one thing that satisfied with a lasting happiness. Blinded by my wild life, I failed to see it as the cause of all my problems.


“The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that do good. The Lord looks down from Heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God. They have all turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is none who does good. No, not one.”

                                                                                                 (Psalm 14:1-3) NKJV


Throughout all the troubles in my life, I continued to shake my fist at God. Yet continually God placed people in my path to guide me back towards His true purpose for my life.


I spitefully enjoyed mocking these messengers, but God never gave up on me no matter what I had done or continued to do.


“But God commends His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

(Romans 5:8) NKJV


My life finally got to the point where I was lost and in desperate need of help, totally addicted to drugs, alcohol, and sex.


I was abusing my body at any and every opportunity.


My parents and siblings had all but disowned me and my self-destructive lifestyle drove my wife and children away. Eventually, I had nothing! I was left all alone! Finally, I reached a depth of depravity and despair in my life that was one of total confusion, uncertainty and fear. Again God called unto me through another person.


“For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all whom are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

                                                                                                (Acts 2:39) NKJV


Not knowing why, I answered His call. With a broken and battered heart and body, in desperation I surrendered. Fearfully facing all I had become, knowing I’d have to confess it all. With a willing and open heart, I went before my Lord.


If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

                                                                                                (1 John 1:9) NKJV


Is your life as destructive as a flooding river? You too can receive God’s help and forgiveness. He’s faithful and long-suffering.


“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some count slackness; but is long-suffering toward us. Not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

(2 Peter 3:9) NKJV


If you want true peace in your life, pray to Jesus and admit you’re a sinner, then ask Him to forgive for your sins. Then repent of those sins, trusting your faith in Jesus to help you to not sin anymore.


“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

(John 8:36) NIV


Many do not understand what the word repent really means to them as an individual. It means that through our faith in the strength given unto us by Jesus we change who we are and what we do.


“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test what God’s will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will.”

(Romans 12:2) NIV


You and I both know, that anything worth having is worth fighting for, or so the saying goes. Jesus puts it a little differently.


And every one who has left houses, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or fields, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.”

(Matthew 19:29) NIV


Jesus shows the nature of His loving character, in that He is actively seeking the lost at all times. Just as the shepherd in the parable in Matthew 18:10-14.


“Behold I stand at the door and knock, any man who hears my voice and opens the door: I will come in and dwell with him and he with me.”

(Revelation 3:20) NKJV




View Sample Poems from Ken's book, "Schizophrenia: A Life In Poem":


The Hobo






The Rights of Passage


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