THE PAIN -- PLEASE...."
"The thief does not come except to steal, and to
kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they
may have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)
by James Kendrick
A thief comes to steal. I know this because that is what I did to get
the drugs and alcohol that I needed to 'kill the pain.' Nothing else in
my life seemed to matter. I am talking about REAL PAIN that only an eight
year old child could understand. After all, I had a reason, I told myself.
You see, my father was executed in California's gas chamber in San Quenton
for killing a police officer after an armed robbery. At eight years of
age, I needed a Father. At the age of eleven I made the decision of a 'man':
"I will kill a cop." I've been in and out of state hospitals,
city jails, county jails, and prisons ever since. (I am now forty-two years
of age.) Then it happened! I met the Lord face to face in a prison cell.
That's when I realized that the Jesus Christ I had met as a little boy
in an old country church was that same Man who said, "I will NEVER
leave you, nor forsake you" and that He's the same yesterday, today,
and forever. He is that same one who saved my life as I was lying on the
ground with a bullet in my belly and the same one who stopped a knife from
going all the way in my side when I was seventeen. He's, the same Jesus,
who, after I committed an armed robbery, did not let me get 'blown away'
while I was surrounded by cops with guns drawn and a helicopter above me.
At that time I really wanted to die. The pain was more than I could bear.
I could not handle it. Even the heroin could not stop the pain. Overdose
after overdose, arrest after arrest, hospital after hospital, my world
caved in on me. "SOMEBODY, STOP THE PAIN! PLEASE!" Sure, I knew
about Jesus. I knew the Scripture. But, I did not know the Man for who
he was, or what He had done for me on that 'ole rugged' cross. You see,
He really did understand my pain. After all, He too was executed, and He
had a Father. He was the only One Who could look down and see the hurt
of the little boy who lost his father. He saw the tears that I cried in
darkness. He understood the longings in my heart for a Father; someone
who would love me no matter what mistakes I might make in life; someone
who would reach down and pick me up when I fell; a father who could hold
me in darkness after a bad dream. PRAISE GOD, friend!!! -- I now have a
FATHER for Whom I longed. I am no longer a stepchild, but a son, Jesus
said, "I have come to give you life, and life more abundantly."
In Romans 8, Paul starts with "NO CONDEMNATION," and ends it
with "NO SEPARATION." Amen! The judgment under the law is forever
gone with those who are in Christ Jesus. I thank God for allowing me to
come to prison. For it is here, where He set me free. If the Son sets you
free, then you are free, indeed! Now I am a "New creature in Christ
Jesus, and all things become new." Amen! The Apostle Paul could not
have said it any better, "Being confident of this very thing, that
He Who has begun a good work in you shall finish it until the Day of Christ."
(Phil 1:6) There are three things God did for me when I met Him in my cell
in the Person of Jesus Christ: 1) He gave me a gift -- ETERNAL LIFE. 2)
He performed a miracle -- HE CHANGED MY LIFE 3) He took me off the unemployment
list and gave me a job -- to be a witness for Jesus. . Jesus tells us:
'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Go out
to the highways and byways and invite them to come in.' Praise His Good
and Holy Name! Brothers and sisters, each of us should realize, as we find
in Luke 4:18, that "The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, because He
has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal
the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of
sight to the blind, and to set at liberty those who are oppressed."
Let us each pray for one another that each of us will continue to grow
in the Lord and fulfill His plan for us each in our own life, that He has
promised us 'more abundantly.
Reprinted by permission, the Christian Express