I really did not feel like going to jail this morning. I normally go the first Sunday of each month which is not that much. Yet, I was not motivated. I just wasn’t in the mood to encourage.
I met Rhonda, my partner in ministry, in the parking lot before going to jail and discovered she was battling austere feelings as well. She made the comment, “Well, it is going to have to be GOD”, because we had nothing. Usually, we don’t go in with a very structured lesson, but this morning we were literally empty.
Since we didn’t have any plans we asked the ladies to share what had gotten them there. We began to discuss what moved us to that point, in that room seeking JESUS together. As you can imagine there were several unique responses. Surprisingly, a lot of ownership and acceptance came forth...and then “Micky” began to share. She talked about being in jail in a different county and finding a Bible another inmate left. She was flipping through it and discovered a message from the former owner. The message described how she had tried everything the world had to offer but nothing filled her up...until she encountered The WORD OF GOD. She had also written “the sinner's prayer” in the cover and encouraged the new owner to accept JESUS. It seemed simple,so “Micky” did just that. What did she have to lose right? She had nothing, she was in jail, she was empty. “Micky” said something began changing in her that day. She was later released from jail and took the Bible with her. She was living in a shed and this is what got me...she said, “I was hungry but the people around me only had drugs to offer”. She began praying asking GOD to help her, to feed her, and provide for her. She began reading her Bible and soon a “GODly” man came to the place “Mickey” was. She said it was a location where several users lived. The “GODly” man was a former addict who now brings the love of CHRIST to drug users. “Micky” said the man told her she had been fasting and praying and didn’t even know it. “Micky” was physically and spiritually hungry and GOD was providing for her in supernatural ways. Soon after “Micky” ended up back in jail and today she was thanking GOD for feeding her! For changing her! For satisfying her!
Rhoda and I had gone in depleted and GOD filled us as well. “Micky” encouraged us and allowed us to see the LORD through her. GOD knows exactly what we need. Sometimes empty is right where GOD needs us. 2 Corinthians 12:9-11 tells us, But HE said “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. Today I am grateful for my weakness. I am satisfied upon being empty. It is then I see GOD in HIS fullness.
Isaiah 58:10-13 says,”Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.