Bregrudgingly Blessed

About twice a year I have the privilege of speaking at a local women’s prison. I say it’s a privilege because I know that to be true, but I never feel like it’s a privilege when I’m driving down there. It always feels like a burden and an interruption in my life. In truth, I never really want to go. The only reason I go is because of Jesus’ words in Matthew 25 about visiting him in prison.
I know I’m not supposed to admit that. I’m supposed to tell you how awesome it is and how much I love serving Jesus in this way, but, that would be a greater sin than coming up with an excuse not to go.
Yet, in spite of my curmudgeonly attitude toward the whole endeavor, God always shows up and blesses me. Much more than he blesses the ladies with whom I share his story. This time I didn’t even prepare like I should have.
Early in the week I felt God telling me that I needed to share with the ladies what it means to be a peace-maker, referencing Matthew 5:9. I did the research. I sought him and prayed for a message. But when it came to actually writing the message I got distracted by a hockey game and gave up. I printed off a message that I wrote a year ago with the intent of just doing that one again.
When I got to the room where we would worship with the ladies and I would share, God grabbed me and slapped me around a little bit. He made it clear that recycling an old message was not what he wanted and that I was going to give the message he told me to.
Now… I’m one of those guys that likes a lot of prep before I speak to any group. This brought me before God in prayer in HUGE ways. There was no way I could give that message. I had three points but no intro, no conclusion, and no illustrations. God didn’t care about that. I was going to give the message that he told me to.
Well… you already know what happened. Similar things have probably happened to you. I gave the message that God gave me. He gave me and intro, a conclusion, and illustrations. And the whole time I was speaking I was sharing God’s message with the ladies and God was sharing his message with me.
Sunday afternoon, I learned that I am far more rebellious than I like to think I am. But, I also learned that God loves me too much to leave me in that condition. He won’t let me get away with being a spoiled lazy brat. God lavished his love on me and allowed me to experience him working through me. I begrudgingly experienced his blessing.