OUT OF LIVING DEATH
(The Billy Cummings Story)
(Edited By: Jack Olson)
'Everything I had ever done was meaningless. In fact, my entire existence was nothing but emptiness. I had been trying to be good, even living for God and telling people about Him, but no one would listen.'
Instead, Billy Cummings was ridiculed like a village idiot. He felt abandoned, with no support from church or friends. Billy was trying to think of something worth saving, but finding nothing, He made a life-changing decision. Billy raised his gun to his head, for he could no longer endure being useless to himself and to God. His finger was on the trigger, 'And I was thinking, whatever comes after this can be no worse. How deceived I was.'
Billy Cumming's entire life had been a catalog of error with only a couple of bright spots when he was a child.
When He was six years old, a neighbor took him to church. He accepted Jesus, and prayed for his mom. That counted for two good things, 'But,' He says, 'I didn't think about Christ again until I was eleven when my mother was invited to church by a coworker. Out of her four children I was the only one who would go with her. That was good. And that day The Lord answered my childhood prayer.' For his mom accepted Christ and started going to church four times a week, and made her kids go.
During that same year, Billy, his brother, and three friends found $29,000. But his mother, now a Christian, made them turn it in. That was her decision, not Billy's. He couldn't honestly take any of the credit. Now, returning a white man's money was not the thing to do where they lived, and it made them very unpopular. With that, Billy's life became an unending mistake.
Two years later, his mom married and moved into a white area of town, closer to church, which was also mostly white. All their family and friends objected and Billy was mad because he had to change school and abandon his friends. Billy's step-dad didn't like him and one day, while arguing with his mom, he said he wanted to leave. The next morning she took him and his belongings to a YMCA with 52 dollars for a room.
That money was soon gone. With no money and starving, he lost over 35 pounds, and at age 16 he was sleeping under the steps of May D&F. He might have remained in that condition for years, and it might have been better if he had. But after six months, his mom started giving him his Dad's Social Security checks. So Billy returned to his old neighborhood and started smoking and drinking, and lost even more weight. He got a job but partied away everything he earned until he was twenty.
'I thought I didn't need God,' he says, 'even though I had miraculously walked away from two serious auto accidents. I went back to Mom's church to show them that I was having fun and didn't need them or their God.'
But Billy began to suspect that there was something missing, and made a shallow change. 'I seized one Bible verse, John 3:16, thinking if I believed that I'd make it to Heaven. And that's what I told my friends, no need to stop partying.' To make things worse, Billy started hanging out with a cousin and drinking heavily.
'My life was getting worse instead of better.' There was no cure. He couldn't face being drunk all his life so his decision was the only escape. Death would be better than life. He felt the curve of the trigger.
Just then, there was a knock at the door, and for some reason, Billy felt compelled to answer it. There stood a man who had thought of inviting Billy to church. He accepted. When He got back in the house Billy unloaded the gun and put it up. The next day he went to church only to find out he was not welcome because it was all Spanish-speaking.
He continued drinking with his old buddies and began dating a girl he met at a friend's house. Then Billy's mom died.. After that, he and his girl friend were married. She became pregnant and they decided to go for counseling. He took her to Victory Outreach in Pueblo, but the pastor refused to talk to them because they were not going to his church. Discouraged, they had another reason to comfort ourselves with the abuses.
They had a son who brought a well of joy into Billy's life. He dearly loved his new pure and innocent little pal. But before his first birthday, the abuses took their toll. His wife left the baby alone while she was out doing drugs. While she was gone, he suffocated. She went to prison because of that. And Billy felt like his heart was jammed in his throat and he might throw it up any minute.
After the death of my son I didn't care anymore.' The whole world seemed useless, including himself. So he committed another kind of suicide, he drank all day and all night and started smoking more crack.
One Sunday, Billy went to church drunk. On the following Monday, he took a friend to the same church for food. They were supposed to pray for his friend, Instead, they called Billy for prayer. Three men gathered around him, and one warned him he needed to turn his life over to Christ because bad things were about to happen. He told Bill he was sick but would come back and teach them one day. Billy says, 'I didn't pay any attention and as for teaching and being sick, I laughed as we were leaving.'
A week later, Billy's landlord sold his house and Billy had to rent a motel, which he couldn't afford. While staying with a friend, he saw a for-rent sign across the street and promised, 'Lord, if you let me get that place I will quit drinking and doing drugs.' He got the place but didn't change.
One day some acquaintance were the dealer below and asked to smoke in his apartment. He let them in, and when the dealer found out, he wanted to send all his customers to Billy's place to smoke. Billy had already had that experience and I didn't like it. Besides, he was working grave-yard and needed to sleep. But these people came anyway. So, Billy would read his Bible while they were there and it made them so uneasy, they stopped coming.
Bill was getting home from work at 4:00 A. M. One morning, there were police all around the building. As he walked to his apartment, he noticed a bright light, but didn't see much because his glasses were broken. The bright light, he discovered, was from a camera crew filming 'COPS.'
Bill says, 'Everyone thought I had snitched on them and about a week later someone tried to run over me.' For the fourth time I had escaped death.
Then, May 3rd 1997 ... my life became meaningful. I was praying and was filled with the Holy Spirit of God. Just as the Bible describes. With that came indescribable joy and a powerful, mind-filling revelation that God is real, and Jesus Christ is the Son of God, The King of Kings who will be returning soon. Best of all, I am now ready and eager to see Him.
My burning desire now, is to raise people out of their living death, out of the deceptions that would rob them of life and eternal joy. My soul-sickness is gone, and yes, I am teaching others. Best of all I know I will see my son again. I guess you might say I have committed suicide. I have died from the old life of hopelessness and worthlessness and been reborn into a life of value, of service of expectation and joy.
Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. You can even have that assurance RIGHT NOW! Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you...please don't make such a tragic mistake.
To get to know God, to be at peace with God, to have your sins forgiven, to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity, to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help you understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life, because in Christ, it is impossible to put a value on the worth of your soul in light of eternity.