Recently, I heard a most inspiring testimony from a prisoner. He had been talking about a retreat experience he had had, and how much he had been lifted up by it. He stated that he was “the lowest of the low” because he was a sex offender. Yet, he had been so strongly moved by his retreat experience, that he spoke freely about being loved by God and blessed. Evidence of his faith could be seen in his eyes and heard in his words. He told us that he was both willing and glad to do His will, whatever that might be, and wherever that might take him.
Reflecting on his words, I let my mind wander…and the devil entered the room.
“Of course, he would say all those things! They get him through each day. He’s deluding himself if he thinks that he can make it on the outside! His profession of God’s work in his life is merely a cover to get him through his prison experience, a way for him to live with himself and his crimes. When he gets out, he’ll just go back to his old ways – they’re all he knows. That’s what everyone will expect of him. That is ‘who’ everyone will expect him to be! No one on the outside will believe he is sincere. They’ll believe only that he is scum – scum, through and through. He won’t be able to carry on for long, even if his faith is sincere. No one will accept him. He’ll have nothing to hold on to. He’ll fail!”
Then…I heard a different Voice…a very quiet Voice. It said, “He’ll have Me. And I will never fail him. I, too, was rebuffed by men. I know his pain. I know his sorrow, too. He is Mine, and I will hold onto him with all My heart. My love for him will never die. I will supply all of his needs, and I will never let him go.”
At that, I saw the devil slink back into a shadowy corner, where he would wait for another day, another opportunity when he would try again to instill doubt and fear of failure.
Then I heard the quiet Voice once again. “Listen to this man. He is telling his story, but in telling his story, he is telling My story, too. Listen to him. He has offered his life to Me. Trust Me. He already knows the extent of My love.”
I smiled. God is so good.