Sunday, April 18, 2010

Never Give Up...From Prison to Ministry

Drug addicted….separated……lost……drug addicted…separated……lost…drug addicted…separated…and lost……..but, never gave up! That’s a headline that’s bigger than a championship ring, an MVP award or making it all the way to the Final Four. At least this was the case, for NBA great Dwayne Wade, but more importantly the woman who raised him because this was a description she knew all too well. And why wouldn’t she? It was the story of her life. As a young mother, Jolinda Wade struggled with the responsibility of raising her children all alone. She worked hard for years but had grown tired and was now falling victim to many of the traps of the enemy, like drinking and using drugs. Yet, despite the fact that she was abusing all of these things, she continued to attend church even when she was strung out on drugs. And, while other worshippers clapped, shouted and bowed heads to pray, God was whispering love songs in her ear. This would be the only place that she could find the comfort she was seeking and the only place she could receive the fruit she so desperately needed. But day in, and day out, she continued to rebel, seeking refuge from poison and darkness until, she finally reached, rock bottom. Her days of partying and drugging had led her to a separation from her family when her children were taken away. And an outstanding warrant from a previous offense brought her straight to the penitentiary. Now time and solitude were her only friends and the only opportunity she had to deal with the reality of her poor choices. But, just like Romans 8:28 says, “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love him and to those who are called according to his purpose.” For it was in these walls, that she found her biggest blessing. Not in the streets, not in the church, not in her home but in a cold, concrete facility filled with strangers. And, a place, that had become ‘her” holy ghost college. No longer would her name be attached to shame and guilt and no longer would she hear the voices of people on the outside commenting on whether she could or would recover. Because this, knew residence, would allow her to spend time with her heavenly father to work things out with him and gain an education in areas of her life where she needed healing the most. For Jolinda Wade, salvation, restoration, renewal and the revelation to become a pastor was found in these walls, for others it may be someplace else but wherever it is, each of us has it in us. Each of us has a spirit living inside of us who can erase every doubt, every sin, every wrong and every fear. All he asks for, is acceptance, and with it comes perfect peace. As long as we ask, as long as we seek and as long as we never give up, he’ll be there, waiting, with open arms. In dew season...we will!

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