Saturday, March 19, 2005

Has God Brought You To A Breaking Point?

Sometimes in our life, both before and after we become followers of Jesus, God will bring us to a breaking point. A breaking point is a period in our life when we are hurting the most and nothing we can humanly do can make it better. Only reliance upon God can provide the strength to get us through. The following is an excerpt from my journal as a prison chaplain about one man’s breaking point:

“…We received a phone call from a guard stating that an inmate had just found out his mother died and was very distraught and he wanted us to come talk with him (It is the responsibility of the Chaplain department to do death notifications). When we got there I realized the guards show absolutely no sensitivity to these prisoners. As we walked up, a guard got on the PA which addresses the entire floor and stated “Will the guy whose mom just died please step forward to meet with the Chaplains.” I felt bad for the prisoner. As I turned to look I saw a man with a shaved head and covered in tattoos walk up to us and identify himself as “Chucky.” We began to talk to him and he told us his mom was in critical condition, could die at any second, and he just wanted to talk with her as he hadn’t seen her in 17 years. He said he was supposed to have been on a bus to see his mom in Pennsylvania on Monday but he got arrested for doing heroin on Sunday night, the night before he left [I met with him on Wednesday]. At that point I watched one of the most hardened looking of all men, break down in tears. We talked to him for a while and he told us that when he was in jail a year ago, he used to attend Dave’s Bible studies (Dave did remember him being there), and that while it is easy to follow that life while in jail, it is very difficult while out on the streets. I really felt God was bringing him to a breaking point. I mean, if the guy would have just said no for 12 more hours, he could have been there with his mother already. We gave him the gospel message as well as a Bible with some scripture to read, and told him we’d see if we could arrange a phone call (prison guidelines are very strict and limited in such circumstances). A half hour after we talked with Chucky we found out that his mom was still alive and at home. She does have cancer but is being treated as an outpatient. I felt really good being able to deliver this news to Chucky and pray that he uses that experience of possible loss to get his life together…In addition to the things I already talked about, I learned a lot of other things today as well. I saw how hopeless these men really are. I felt as though I was in a building designed by God for people he is breaking down and trying to get the attention of. I can’t explain how sad it is to look in the eyes of some of these men, knowing Jesus is the answer for all of their problems, and they are too stubborn to accept it. It really is heart breaking. “

As you can see, through his mother’s illness, God was definitely trying to get Chucky’s attention. Can you think of a time in your life when God brought you to a breaking point? If so, can you look back and see where your walk with God was prior to and now after that event? My guess is your walk with Christ jumped up to the next level after that event. If you are not a follower of Christ is it possible that you are going through a breaking point in your life right now? If so, is it possible that God is trying to get your attention?

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