Monday, March 4, 2019 -
It is hard to believe today marks the 90th day I have been in prison. My comfort level has greatly increased. The first few weeks, although it was extremely evident many were praying due to the favorable circumstance regarding my housing, sleeping arrangement and men I’ve met, I was frightened to be here. I was probably more frightened of the guards and other authorities than other convicts. Yet it has been very evident God has sent His angels to surround me.
I just got done speaking with “JE,” who confessed to me he needs to get rid of some of the things he’s put ahead of God – like worry for his children and girlfriend. He’s anxious to draw near to God and is faithfully reading his Bible. The first week I was here, I would have pegged “JE” one of the last men in this unit of prisoners I’d be having this conversation with! Praise the Lord! I pray that this passion for a relationship with God spreads like a wildfire!
My mother sent me a devotional today called “When Things Go Wrong.” I don’t know where she cut it out from, but it was very meaningful and applicable: “Joseph had lived an exemplary life. He had made a fortune for his employer and had resisted the sexual advances of his boss’ wife and stayed true to God. But what was his reward? A prison sentence with no hope of parole. Since when does the high road lead over a cliff? Ever since the entry of evil into the world. And as long as Satan ‘prowls around like a roaring lion’ (I Peter 5:8 NIV), he will wreak havoc among God’s people. He will lock preachers like Paul in prison. He will exile pastors like John on remote islands. He will afflict the friends of Jesus, like Lazarus, with diseases. But his strategies always backfire. The imprisoned Paul wrote the Epistles. The banished John saw heaven. The cemetery of Lazarus became a stage upon which Christ performed one of His greatest miracles. The prison in which they placed Joseph became his stepping stone to the palace for which God had destined him. Looking back, he could say, ‘But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive’ (Gen. 50:20 NKJV). So look for God’s purposes in the reversals of your life, and you’ll begin to see them as stepping-stones to blessing. ‘The Lord shall not turn back until He has executed and accomplished the thoughts and intents of His mind’(Jeremiah 30:2 AMPC). God will use the circumstances you are in today to strengthen you, draw you closer to Himself, and accomplish His will for your life.”
Thank you to whoever penned those comforting words for me. And thank you, mother, for forwarding to me. I echo what “JE,” told me not more than an hour ago, “Man, I know God has a plan and a purpose for my life.”And “C” added, “Yes, and he’s using this time to refine us.” All I can add is, praise the Lord!