Sonshine Through the Rain

Sonshine Through the Rain

This past Saturday kicked off our NJ Saints Prison Ministry season. As we traveled to Sussex Correctional Institution in Delaware, we faced some adversities.  The first one was that some of our teammates were unable to make it, leaving us a little light on players.  The second one was that the forecast called for rain most of the day.  As we embarked on the two hour drive to the prison, we prayed that God’s Will would be done and that He would use us as He sees fit.  When visiting prisons, you never quite know what to expect, especially when it comes to the weather.  Will they cancel our visit?  As with any ministry, flexibility is the key.  God calls us to go.  What happens is up to Him. 

Although things seemed a little bleak on the surface, it turned out it was His plan that we get in all along.  While traveling en route, the prison reached out to me, told us about the rain, and asked us what we would like to do.  Well, giving us a choice doesn’t happen often, so of course I said we’ll see you soon!  Our check in was smooth and shortly afterwards, we headed out to the ball field.  As we approached the field, we saw a bunch of inmates working hard to get the field ready.  Everybody out there was so welcoming and friendly.  Immediately, we striked up conversations and friendly banter.  We got our entire morning session in, shared a testimony and The Gospel, and saw 3 men give their lives over to Jesus!  We even played well and the three rookies that came in with us immediately fit in.  The afternoon session was more of the same.  It was an amazing atmosphere as we played in the intermittent rain.  We were even greeted by a huge rainbow over the prison yard.  God is good!  As our afternoon time was cut a little short due to a lockdown, we were still allowed to go into the gymnasium to share another testimony and Gospel message with a new bunch of guys.  Two more men accepted Jesus!  God is so good!

This whole experience reminded me of how God works in our daily lives.  Sometimes, we feel shorthanded.  Sometimes, the rain pours down.  Sometimes, we have no idea what to expect.  Life can be challenging.  Life can be messy.  Life can be unpredictable.  At the end of the day, however, we can know undoubtedly that God is in complete control and His plan for us will be carried out. 

The God of Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Job, Ruth, David, the disciples, Paul, and everyone else in the Bible is the same God we serve today.  He hasn’t changed and works in us just the same. 

Romans 8:28 (ESV)
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Whatever season of life we’re in right now, we can walk in reassurance knowing that God is at work.  He works with our success and good decisions, as well as our failures and bad ones.  Whatever He works in our lives is inherently for our benefit and has our best interest at heart.  So let us continually submit to His Will and run the race. 

Philippians 3:14 (NLT)
I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

Keep pressing on and keep relying on The Holy Spirit.  The Son will shine through! 

Wayne Errig