“Prison, Part II”

  ” ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ ‘Lord’, he said, ‘I want to see!’  “  Luke  18:41  NLT

  “I said to the man at the Gate Of The Year, ‘Give me a light that I may go forth into the unknown.’ And the man replied, ‘Put your hand in the hand of God. That shall be to you better than a light, safer than a known way.’  ”   Britain’s King George in a New Year’s message to his people at the beginning of World War  II

       I put my hand into the hand of God as I lay on the shower floor that was covered in my own blood. I have clung tightly to it ever since.

      I told the Lord that I wanted to see myself the way He sees me and He has lovingly helped me to heal the affliction that clouded my vision. He has allowed me to see myself finally as His child, His servant, His warrior.

      Today, I am able to look in a mirror without seeing the evil that had inhabited my body, consumed my soul, and transformed me into something less than God intended. I still see the scars on my neck, evidence – and reminders – of that bloody battle that was waged for my life. Looking at them, I am reminded of the pain that I had caused to those who loved me. Looking at them, I am reminded of the disappointment of those who counted on me to be a better person than I was.

      I am also acutely aware of how close I came to leaving this life as the broken, sinful person I had allowed evil to make me. But being the good Father that He is, God heard my cries of anguish and my plea for forgiveness. He saw me reaching out for His hand and it is because He is who He is that I am forgiven, that I am loved, and that I am able to sit here in this prison and consider to myself to be one of the most fortunate and blessed people on God’s earth.

      I recently passed the midpoint of my sentence. I look back in awe at the power of God as I examine how He has helped me to use the time here to build a relationship with Him that enables me to see in myself what He has always seen and use that person to serve Him and to glorify His name.

      I have tried to do for myself what no one else can, and what I would be unable to do were it not for the One who stands beside me, keeping vigil and offering guidance. Sin brought me to the brink of death. God caught my hand and pulled me back before I tumbled headfirst into the abyss and deposited me here. With God’s help, I have remained positive, tried to be productive, and tried to help myself and others understand that this should be viewed as the beginning, and not the end. Because of these things, I am able to look back and say, “Thank you, Lord. Now help me look forward and continue on exactly the same path.”

      As Paul said to the Romans, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord!” (Romans  6:23  NLT)

      I almost paid that high price. I am thankful that I was allowed one last chance to accept that free gift which is valuable beyond mere human comprehension.

      While this is far from being a horrible prison, any prison is a terrible place to be. However, to live without family, friends, and freedom does not have to change us for the worse. With God’s help, we can use the time to become better than we ever were before.

      One day I will be somewhere else. For the moment, I will continue to hold the hand of God and walk through Prison, Part II.

      I thank you all, and may God bless you and your families.