He never gave up...
I had a life changing experience while in prison this week. Honestly, I didn't go because I had done something wrong yet my time there helped me realize that I had some wrong ways of thinking.
My mother is very active in prison ministry and just finished leading a 15 week class for some inmates. Because she regularly talks about her experiences in the prison, I requested to join her at the next class. The day we went, the room was full of energy as the men eagerly reveled in completing their course. We fellowshipped together, ate some great food, and one recently released individual told his story.
As we were nearing our time to leave, the the men began sharing how the class affected them.
A bigger man quickly exited the room and another man stood up to speak. The speaker started by saying that there was a special man on their unit that had a big heart but was short with words. The man called "Big", had a severe stroke while in prison and was told he would never regain his short term memory and some of his long term memory.
The story teller went on to say that "Big" really loved Jesus and frequently read his bible. When "Big" saw people struggling, he wanted to share what his bible said yet he couldn't get it out. The stroke not only twisted his body and mind, it also wrenched his fluidity of speech from free flowing to nearly a trickle.
Can you imagine carrying life saving information in your mind and not being able to articulate it to anyone??
Essentially, the doctors gave up on "Big", the other inmates gave up on him, and to some degree I believe "Big" gave up on himself.
1 Corinthians 13:7-8 (NLT) says, "Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!'
Paul wrote this letter to share that God's love is greater than the temporal things that we use to define love and admonishes about the tenacity that true love holds.
When we adhere our faith to the truth that God and love are a seamless union, we will believe that God never gives up on us and just the same He and His love lasts forever.
So..."Big" walked back in the room as the storyteller was finishing up. The storyteller closed by saying that my mom's unyielding belief in God and her relentless love for "Big" changed him forever. "Big" can now recall scriptures as well as share scriptures with others. "Big" sat in his chair with a tear that ran the length of his face and before I realized, I was crying also.
Allow me to take this moment to encourage anyone that has ever given up on someone or felt like someone has ever given up on them. Despite their or your justification for giving up, you have a Father in Heaven who has not and will not give up on you. I also believe that there is someone in the background still rooting for you too!
- Maybe you have ignored God - He still loves you
- Maybe you have walked away for a while - He still loves you
- Maybe you have given other things greater prominence than Him - He still loves you
- Maybe you just haven't fully give your life to him - He still loves you
His love last forever and is waiting for your return. Don't give up on God - He hasn't given up on you...