For two weeks now, I have been on my way to the jail for ministry but couldn’t complete the task. A mandatory meeting kept me away the first week, although I was able to join the team after the service and meet with some gals for council. This last week was a little different due to an unexpected turn of events. On Thursday morning I get a call from Louie’s (my husband) workplace informing me he was in need of an ambulance. He was diagnosed with Pneumothorax which in this case was a partial collapsed lung. I had decided if the emergency room admitted him into a room, I would stay with him, but if they released him to go home, I would go to the jail. I made the right decision by staying with him, although I had some who gave me permission to go. It was tough because I have a burning desire to minister to the ladies in Christian County Jail. But what made it worth it all was when Louie and I got home and settled in after all that time in the hospital, he said, “Thanks for sticking by me.”
You can imagine my excitement when this time I was able to make it. God never ceases to amaze me as I see Him touching these ladies who are incarcerated. During the service this woman stands up to tell everyone Hell is real. She heard Bill Wiese telling his story of 23 minutes in hell. God gave her visions as he was talking and it shook her to her core. Her revelation was that she knew she loves God, but always saw it as her love to hang on to. But she shared with us how she no longer wants to hang on to God’s love, but to give it away. Her desire is that everyone hears the gospel of Jesus’ love for us, how He hung on the cross, died, and was buried, rose again and is giving us the opportunity for heaven. “Hell is real, ya’ll,” she said, “You don’t want to go there.” That was the power of Christ in her showing on the outside.
After the service, “Bucky’s note said “I have some serious questions to ask you about me.” She had heard from someone that if you don’t have a date to say you were saved, then you might not be saved. Her voice rose louder to say, “I know I am saved, Miss Tracey, I don’t know the date.” We talked about it and in the end she didn’t want to lie or make one up, but said she was going to claim the day that Jesus died on the cross as her date of salvation. I thought that was a great conclusion to her question.
The last woman I talked to was inquiring about her relationship with her husband. He filed for divorce before he left for Afghanistan, now he is back and she doesn’t know if she is still married to him or not. She didn’t want to ask him, but she wants to know. She had heard about Louie and I being married twice and all the frustration and struggles that went along with that. She knew God fixed things in our relationship and wanted to know how God did that. The best advice I could give her was to trust God whether He restored her marriage or not. There was a time Louie was going to the Altar whether I went with him or not; thankfully I went along and God worked it out. The most important relationship we can have is in Christ.
So, the message I wanted to bring tonight was about knowing God has good things for us whether it feels like it or looks like it or not. Three verses came to me, Jeremiah 29:11, Genesis 50:20 and Romans 8:28, all three verses talk about the goodness of God. We need to realize that God does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. We all come to Jesus the same way and that is humbly and knowing we can’t do “it” on our own. It is only with and through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. It looks like it is our power, but it’s really the Holy Spirit’s power working in us. We don’t disappear from the scene, because God wants to use us and He wants to elevate us. He doesn’t expect us to do this for ourselves. The flesh is weak, not evil; God uses the flesh for His glory. The power is in Christ and He is in us.
Written by Tracey