God’s Instant Grace
Four years ago I was arrested for selling heroin and driving
under the influence of a controlled substance. My girlfriend was pregnant and
high out of her mind. When we were pulled over, she faked labor pains to try
and divert the police. It didn’t work. We were arrested, and I was thrown into
I wasn’t your typical drug dealer. In fact, I had worked for
the county as a corrections officer and had a solid reputation within the
community. I can remember feeling like my life was over. I was ashamed, and
knowing how deeply I had shamed my family was the worst part of it.
As I went through the process of being incarcerated, I lost
all hope. An addict for about 13 years, I was going through withdrawal from
heroin. I also had a severe back injury and was in constant pain.
Then I attended a chapel service in jail. I heard about
grace and forgiveness, a love that just wisped through my ears and into my
heart. I wondered if the preacher was telling the truth and if this Jesus
really did love me.
One day a cellmate told me to talk to the chaplain. The
chaplain gave me a Bible and told me that he would pray for me. As I was
reading the Bible, I began to weep and cry out to the Lord to help me. The
verses that stuck out to me were Matthew 7:7,8 — “Ask and it will be
given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the
door will be opened” (NIV).
I confessed my sins and trusted in Jesus. I asked God to help
me and to heal my back. And I asked God to be with my son who was not yet born.
Since my girlfriend had been on drugs during her pregnancy, I knew our son
would be at risk.
The next day I woke up and did not have pain. It was
wonderful. I began to grow closer to the Lord and sensed that God was calling
me to do something. A little later, a pastor came to see me and told me I could
be a great preacher one day. I was blessed by his comment and continued to
trust in the Lord.
My girlfriend came to see me, but I could tell our
relationship was over. I continued to hope our baby would be all right.
Once I was out of jail on bond, my mind raced. I didn’t know
what would happen next or where to go. Then I met the pastor of a local
Assemblies of God church. He helped me to understand what it means to be a true
Christian. His faith was genuine. He was a good brother. At a young adults
meeting, he asked us if anyone needed prayer. I told the group that I needed
prayer for mercy since I was preparing to go to court.
God was merciful, and my sentence went from 2-5 years in
state prison to probation. Six months later my probation officer said, “Son, I
don’t know why you’re here or why you did these things, but you’re different
now and you’re not like one of these guys.”
The officer said if I paid my fine I could be done
altogether. God provided the money — more than $2,000 — and in six
months of probation I was done.
God also healed my son after he was born addicted to drugs,
could not open his eyes, and was in a life-or-death state. Praise God! And
through it all I was called to ministry, went to school for ministry, and I am
now pastoring the church were I first attended after jail.
I married a wonderful Christian woman, and we were able to
get custody of my son. So he is being raised by a mother who loves the Lord. We
have seen God’s hand move in supernatural ways all the time.
If you are losing hope, say the name of Jesus. He is with
you. God can take the bad and make it good. Sometimes it is in an instant;
sometimes it takes a while. I believe God is showing us that He loves us no
matter what we go through or who we are.
God doesn’t make mistakes, and I know that my life is no
mistake. I don’t believe God brought drugs into my life or that I have some
disease or hereditary disorder. I believe God’s grace took those things out of
my life faster than the devil put them in. I was addicted to drugs for about 13
years, but it only took 1 millisecond of God’s grace, mercy and redeeming power
to set me free.
The author is now involved in full-time pastoral ministry.
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