Breathe, Whitney…

A single drop of sweat trickled down my forehead as I inhaled the thick, cigarette smoke-filled air. The hallway that led to the gate was dark and hot, and I could feel the temperature in my face rising.

“Why have you brought me here, Lord?”

Immediately after I entered in, the guard locked the gate behind me. The sound of the heavy iron slamming was their cue that I had arrived. Just like clockwork, they began making their way out of their quiet cell blocks and into the common area where we would all meet. After all, they’d be crazy to miss an opportunity to change up their all too repetitive daily routine.

It wasn’t the first time I had been locked behind those bars.

I had spent the year traveling for my job, providing health education in jails and substance abuse treatment centers across the state. I was used to this. But I never got used to the emptiness that filled their eyes.

I was there to educate, but they showed up looking for so much more…

Slaves

The world is a tricky place, the way it disguises deceit in such cleverly decorated packages. It appeals to the weak and strategically preys on the unstable – the ones who are already overcome…

Overcome by their human desires.

Overcome by their suffering.

Overcome by empty promises.

Overcome by their addiction to people pleasing.

Overcome by their desire for an easy fix.

Overcome by another’s power or abuse.

Overcome by their need to escape.

Overcome by a million empty things pursued while they desperately try to fill the empty places.

They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity – for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.” ~ 2 Peter 2:19

Before I had a chance to begin, she leaned over and asked if I had kids.

“No, not yet,” I answered with a soft smile.

And tears filled her eyes as she spoke of the vulnerability and seduction that led to her life behind those bars – the life and choices that had painfully separated her from her little one.

Empty, overcome, and now enslaved.

She had been promised freedom, but her misguided pursuits had left her anything but free.

______________________

Ends up we wouldn’t ever get to the original agenda planned for that day. Instead, we landed on a much more needed truth – the One her soul was longing for all along…

“Let me tell you about Jesus, the One who overcomes…”

Have you never seen a man shut up in the iron cage? It has been my painful duty to talk with several of such prisoners. I have seen the captive shake the iron bars, but he could not break from them. He has implored us to set him free by some means; but we have been powerless. Glory be to God, the blood is a universal solvent, and it has dissolved the iron-bars of despair, until the poor captive conscience has been able to escape. How sweet for the desponding to sing – “I believe that Jesus died for me”! There is nothing, indeed, dear friends, which the blood of the Lamb will not overcome. ~ Charles Spurgeon

“Who is it that overcomes the world?

Only the one who believes that

Jesus is the Son of God.”

~ 1 John 5:5 

No longer a slave…

At His feet,

*LET’S TALK: What is enslaving you? Our team would love to pray for you…

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