LETTER TO PRISON.112416

paper plane gets stuck in barbed wireVince,

I’m really glad that you’re enjoying the Kairos small groups.  I’m just certain that small groups are the key to maintaining your relationships with God and with others.  You can be a Christian with just you and your Bible and prayer with God; but you can GROW as a Christian, and move from being a spectator to being a participant (even a leader) in the process of making disciples, if you’re involved in regular meetings with other brothers where you talk about what God is doing in your lives.  Praise God for what He is doing in your life.  I’m always astounded when I think that God has picked us out, before the foundation of the earth, to BE HIS.  Whoa!

I hope you get to work as a servant on Kairos #5.  I will be there, and maybe we could spend a little time visiting together.  At the very least, you can come to the closing.  I’m looking forward to seeing you.  You’re right; being a servant on a weekend is almost better than being on a weekend the first time, because you know more and you get to see more and understand more.

When you talk about your daughters, not being hungry or homeless, it makes me think about my kids; they’re not perfect, but they’re not on hard drugs, they’re gainfully employed; they’re in their 40’s and not still living at home.  (And a couple of them are serious trusters in Jesus.) What more could I ask?

So here’s the main reason I’m writing you back so soon.  I want to answer the question of “Why bad things happen to good people (particularly to little kids and/or innocent people).  What is the point?  Why does God do this? Or maybe better “Why does God let things like this happen.” Especially to people who don’t deserve it.

I don’t know.  I’m not in charge.  In the Book of Job, God says to Job, near the end of the book, “Who are you to question Me?  Where were you when I created all this?”  In Romans 5:3-5, it says, “3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” NLT

My momma used to say, “Tribulation builds character.”  She never said anything about it being in the Bible.  I might’ve paid more attention. Nah.  But it does help us to keep things in perspective.  My second answer to this question is, “we are soooo little and sooo limited and sooo stupid”.  I’m talking about me here, not you.  We have no clue about what God is doing in that little girl’s life.  It may seem positively horrible to us at this moment, when God has great and wonderful things planned for that little girl’s life, not in spite of, but because of the awful things she’d had to endure.  I know you’ve heard stories over and over of people having dread diseases, blindness, loss of limbs, and God has used THOSE VERY THINGS to bless those same people, and many, many others too.  Think of Joni Erickson. Think of Helen Keller (and her teacher Anne Sullivan) and how much they had to put up with out of Helen, being blind and deaf from the age of a toddler; and yet she (both of them really) were a real serious blessing to a whole lot of people.

And what about that young man from Australia; I think he just passed away in his 30’s; he was a thalidomide baby, born with no arms and no legs, and he spent most of his life, from the time he was a teenager, going all over the world talking to people about Jesus; and how God had blessed him and others, over and over, BECAUSE of his condition.  I just don’t understand any of that.  I just know there is life in Jesus.  I’m talking about REAL LIFE.

I’ve started reading this blog (she calls it “Beauty Beyond Bones”) by this young adult girl, maybe 25-26 years old, lives in New York City, who is a recovering victim of anorexia.  When she was 16-17, she weighed 78 lbs.  When she found Jesus, she started to recover.  She’s writes some seriously good stuff about following God.  One thing she said in a blog I read yesterday really got me, “Chasing perfection leads to bondage.  Chasing God leads to freedom.”  I guess that’s a little off the subject, but think about how God put this girl through years of suffering (or allowed her to go through years of suffering, depending on how you want to say it,) so she could get on the internet and tell people what a GREAT VICTORY IT IS TO KNOW JESUS!!!  Gets me right here in the middle of my chest.

Just one more thing I want to ask you.  Since you have the right attitude about this subject, this won’t be a hard question.  If God is in control, why in the world did God let you get in prison?  I mean, most of us have done a lot of things for which we deserve to be in prison, or worse.  Why you? Why prison?  It’s because He wanted to do you a favor.  He wanted to save you. (from yourself) How crazy is that?

I love you Brother,

Tex

 

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