"I was in prison and ye visited me not..."
My mind has constantly been thinking of the men at the men's prison that I'll be speaking at next Wednesday. This particular prison has a reputation of being a rough one. Matter of fact, one guy in the DOC calls it the roughest one in Alabama. I've been there before. It is a bit intimidating. Expecially when having to go into the deepest part of it that you can go into, which is where I will be going.
He'd told me about the rioting there, the drug usage (on the inside), the meanness, the fights, the gangs, the............... He told me, too, that many of them were Atheist, Wiccan, Muslim - which aren't just toally opposed to Christians, but hate them. I instantly remembered that so many in Jesus' day hated Him as well... and so, wanted to kill Him.
Had I allowed myself to stay on that thought for long fear would have consumed and paralyzed me. I quickly changed my thinking.
I remembered that Christ died for them anyway in hopes to save and deliver them. I remembered what I'd told my children before ever walking into the first prison, that if something happened to me while I was there that God is the One who sent me and that He is still in control. That if anything happened He plans to use it for His glory. I thought that maybe I needed to (just in case) again remind my children.
I remembered Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Jim McCully and the two other missionaries that once went to teach the Auca Indians about Jesus and were murdered by them... And how Elizabeth Elliot went back to live there among them after her husband was killed and that's what God used to touch them and make a difference.
I fell asleep praying for those guys behind bars to hear God somehow in something I said, to see Him someway in my skin while I was there, and asked Him to use me in the only way He can to draw them to Him. (No, **smile**, I'm not going there to preach, but I will get to share what my Savior has done for me.)
I get two "verses for the day" emailed to me each morning in my inbox. Not even thinking about last night's wonder I opened the first one. It read...
"The Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one" (2 Thes 3:3).
I smiled and immediately remembered where my thoughts took me last night. I thought that if my next verse says something else about protecting me from evil... that maybe I ought to be worried. (Not really worried.... but it'd sure make my "what's-that-about" antenna flag to alert!)
It said.... "[Jesus says,] "I assure you, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman's deeds will be talked about in her memory"" (Matt 26:13).
Seriously, really, I'm not worried. With every minute that passes... I get more excited at having the opportunity to talk with those guys! Who would have thought? I never would have dreamed it! And if God hadn't set the whole thing up, I never would be there. I didn't go looking for it. It came looking for me. I trust HIM! And, too, He's poured His love for them inside my soul. I can't wait to see them. I'm a poor vessel to send, but I soo hope they see Jesus!