As many of you already know, I’m involved with a jail ministry, through our church, called Breakout. It’s amazing to watch God work in the lives of those, who seem to be, at their rock bottom. It’s an honor, and a privilege, to be a part of such a ministry.
It’s not hard to pinpoint the spiritual gifts in a lot of these men, and women. They may be in jail, but I can assure you, it’s quite obvious that some of them know The Lord! We all make mistakes. We all sin. Some people’s mistakes are just more visible than others! The thing is, God will keep allowing whatever it takes to get them to where they need to be! For some, that could possibly mean spending their whole life in prison. I can also assure you of something else! Don’t think for one minute that God can’t, and don’t use people who are in prison, or jail! And who cares if people may think it’s so-called “jailhouse religion”? They’re learning about God and His word! And that NEVER comes back void! And just because it might not “stick” long after some get out doesn’t mean it wasn’t real! The pull of this world, and of hurts, habits, and hang-ups is rough! There is, however, a funny side to being involved in this ministry. Oh the stories we hear!
One night, this lady cornered me and was talking my ears off. God love ‘er, she may not have had time for all the drugs to have gotten out of her system, I’m just sayin’. She was telling me that she’d done nothing worthy of being hauled off to jail! I mean, my goodness, she and her husband had only been in the woods hanging out, on what they called the “party trailer”, for nearly a week. What in the world could be suspicious of that?! Let me clarify exactly what the “party trailer” is. It’s not a camper, or a mobile home. It’s not even a transfer truck trailer! It’s a flat trailer like one you’d pull behind your truck or car, to haul things, with a couch on it! Yep, you just might be a redneck. Now, judging by her looks, (yes, I DO realize that could be wrong of me to judge one by one’s looks. If it walks and quacks like a duck, it’s most likely a dang duck!) she could’ve possibly used meth a time or 537, and that could’ve been why the cops were suspicious (and rightly so) of them being piled up in the woods, on the “party trailer” for nearly a week! Again, I’m just sayin’. If that isn’t enough, she went on to tell me that her mother in law was younger than she was! Jerry! Jerry! Jerry! Bless her heart, I hope she’s doing better. By the way, please forgive me if that stories a repeat.
The other night, a couple of the ladies commenced to telling stories of when they’d been strung out. “Spunderella”, (which is a loving term of endearment one might call a lady strung out in meth) as her friends called her, told of digging a moat ALL THE WAY AROUND her house! She also spoke of building a “bat cave” inside the house and passing out on a running, riding lawn mower, on which thankfully, the wheel had been turned making her go in a continuous circle. Needless to say, the grass looked good! In that one spot that is.
Another girl told of being so paranoid that if she heard the slightest noise she’d make everyone in the house hide. She’d get out on the porch and yell at folks that no one else seemed to be able to see. This young girl had been shooting up meth for many years, which made me sad, but you couldn’t help but laugh at their stories! I finally said “That really doesn’t sound fun to me to be that paranoid.” Her reply? “The first five seconds would feel SO good! But the next five days would be horrible.” She’d actually trade five perfectly good days for the feeling she got that only lasted five seconds!
My heart was broken at the sound of those words. How could anyone do such a thing? Why would you want to?! I mean, is that good feeling, that doesn’t last long, really worth the lasting torment it creates? I sat there in disbelief that anyone would do something so horrible to themselves; and that’s when it hit me! Any time we commit any sin we’re trading a moment of pleasure for a possible lifetime of pain.
Sin, in any form hurts! It hurts us. It hurts the ones we love, and it can even hurt people we don’t even know! Sin has a ripple effect. When we sin, no matter how little, we think the sin may be, we’re always trading something! Are we missing out on a blessing? Are we causing someone else to stumble? Are we robbing ourselves of peace? Whatever the case may be, is it ever worth it to trade seconds of pleasure for five days of pain?
God passed in front of Moses and called out, “God, God, a God of mercy and grace, endlessly patient—so much love, so deeply true—loyal in love for a thousand generations, forgiving iniquity, rebellion, and sin. Still, he doesn’t ignore sin. He holds sons and grandsons responsible for a father’s sins to the third and even fourth generation.” Exodus 34:6-7