Promises

Today’s post is a devotional from a site called Christian Devotions. They have posted one of my devotions before and are planning on posting several more in the near future. When I read this one I thought it would be great to pass along to you…

Promises by Kevin Spencer

You will increase my honor and comfort me once again. Psalm 71:21

I didn’t see death coming for me that morning. Wasn’t ready for it. But now it stood in front of me in the form of a 6’5” 300-pound grinning sociopath with multiple life sentences–one who had already killed three people, two of them while in prison.

I was in prison too. Several years into my incarceration, I had a job running the prison garment factory. God had been good to me. I worked my way up from running a sewing machine to office manager. I made enough money from my job (.50 cents an hour), that I didn’t need to depend on outside help.

Although the rules said all inmates were equal, I suppose it could be said I was first among equals. The garment factory was an oasis in the prison, staffed with civilian supervisors (“free people” we inmates called them) instead of Department of Correction Officers. In my position I dealt with the outside world (placing orders for raw materials, arranging deliveries, shipping finished goods). A great deal of trust was placed in me. In my desk were items I needed to do my job; things like indelible markers, numerous sharp instruments, and tools that the free people trusted me not to abuse.

But now the giant in front of me wanted something out of my desk–a tool I couldn’t give him. He demanded. I refused.

“Gonna be waiting on you come lunch.” he grinned sadistically. “Gonna kill you.”

“We don’t have to wait for lunch,” I said, “We can go outside right now.”

His grin widened. “Come on.” Turning on his heel, he headed for the exit. I shrugged goodbye to my close friend, then headed for the door. My mind registered the quiet that fell over the factory floor as the sewing machines spun to a halt and hundreds of inmates watched.

I wish I could say my mind was focused on God’s peace or that His promise to keep me safe in prison was uppermost in my mind; or that the Biblical examples of David and Daniel were all I thought about. But that’s not what happened. I focused on staying alive.

Time slowed and my brain shifted into high gear, struggling to deal with the fight that was coming. I wasn’t a fighter, not like this guy, and I wasn’t going to survive. I was dead. And to my shame, I had forgotten completely about God’s presence and His promise to me.

But God hadn’t forgotten about me or His promise. The giant passed through the exit door. I followed a few feet back. A step from the door and through the tunnel vision that had descended on me, I heard a voice calling my name. It was my civilian boss. “Spencer, stop!” he commanded. I ignored him.

“I said, STOP!” This time, it registered and I stopped inches from the door.

To my astonishment, a miracle occurred. The giant was handcuffed and led away by a squad of correction officers. They had no business being there, but here they were, standing right outside the door to the factory. The officers were doing a random inspection when the giant walked into their midst. Since he had no pass or authorization to be outside, he was charged with escape. I would have been too, had I walked through the door. I never saw him again.

As I returned to my desk, I caught the eye of several fellow inmates—saw several quiet nods. Later I learned I’d done okay in their eyes…passed a test of sorts; earned a new measure of respect. I’d never be bothered or challenged by an inmate in the factory again.

The noise on the factory floor returned to normal and in that moment a still voice in my heart said to me, See, I promised that you would be okay; that you would be safe and My promises are forever.

Used By Permission: Christian Devotions copyright 2010If you’d like to see more from Chistian Devotions, you can check out they’re website at http://christiandevotions.us/. They’re good people!

Live The Mission,
Greg