The miracle of perfect timing - part 1
Way back in the piney woods of East Texas lie some of the state’s most notorious prisons. Many of them have the reputation of being what inmates call “Gladiator Farms.” The Michael Unit is one of those prisons. When I was invited to preach there, I was surprised to find the chapel completely full. Praise music was flowing, the Spirit was moving and there was a general feeling of expectancy.
I noticed a man clutching a Bible and worshipping with huge tears streaming down his scarred cheeks. The scars proved he had done his share of fighting. The tears proved he had surrendered to Jesus.
He had a beautiful hand tooled leather Bible cover. I asked if he made it. He said yes, because his Bible was very special to him. “I’m going to be in here a long time and I don’t want it to wear out,” he said.
This man had been a curse to his family all his life. Though he was raised in a good home with good parents and loving brothers and sisters, no matter how much they loved him, he chose trouble. He told me there was no end to the terrible things he put his family through.
He had stolen from them all, and threatened them all. Then, the year he should’ve graduated high school, he did something terrible that put him behind bars for the rest of his life.
Still, an older brother visited him every month and tried to talk about Jesus, but the man would have none of it. The brother came for years and years until the man finally spit in his face and told him he never wanted to see him again.
The brother left and never came back. The prisoner was sorry, but didn’t know how to apologize or ask forgiveness.
One Christmas, he got a package and when he opened it, there was a Bible. His brother had written a simple inscription inside: “READ THE RED LETTERS.” As my prisoner friend was trying to figure out what it meant, another inmate attacked him and tried to kill him. This was a blessing in disguise because he was immediately put in segregation for his own safety.
With nothing else to do, still and small for the first time in his wretched, selfish life, he read the red letters. He got saved and months later when he met me, he admitted he wanted to tell his family, but feared they wouldn’t believe him after all the games he had played. “How can I prove it?” he mused.
Read tomorrow for the rest of this prisoner’s amazing story and listen to the spirit’s prompting today. Get still and small so you can hear the gentle voice of Jesus.
Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. – 1 Kings 19:11-12
From my book: Miracles with a Message