As a retired police officer, correctional officer and administrator of both juvenile and adult criminal populations, my friend Ed is no stranger to confrontation, nor has he ever been shy of its approach. I don’t have space on this blog to tell you how the Lord has used this man in the ministry and not because he’s wonderful (although he is), not because he’s talented (although he is) but because he’s willing.
After leaving the adult prison facility for which he is now Chaplain, he pulled into a 7Eleven Convenience Store for fuel. And then it happened… he noticed the nicely dressed man and his children exiting the store. It was a Wednesday night and Ed figured that they were likely going to church. It was then that God spoke to his heart, “Talk to them.” It was a gentle nudge in the beginning but grew more demanding as Ed argued with God that surely this man would think he was nuts to stop him and his children on a cold winter evening when they were obviously on their way somewhere. But after a brief debate, Ed surrendered to the Lord’s desire…
“Hey are you a Preacher?” Ed asked.
“Why yes I am he replied…”
And then God unfolded the plan.
Ed had been tirelessly working as Chaplain to a new facility of inmates with groups arriving each week needing his attention. He studied, preached, provided counseling and handled the administrative duties of his position as well. His active farm took its toll physically on his body and the pressure was mounting. He knew he needed help but unfamiliar with the location of the prison, and very much understanding the accountability of ministering the gospel “correctly”, Ed wasn’t about to hand the reigns over to just anyone.
But God had a plan.
The Preacher who Ed spoke to at the 7Eleven was a part of ministry team looking for a mission field opportunity in their area. Within a few minutes Ed was invited to meet their team; a doctrinally sound group of believers who have now offered to take on his Prison Bible studies as their mission.
They were looking, Ed was asking and God set up the meeting.
But… if Ed had not being willing to hear the Holy Spirit when He said “Speak.” God’s business would have been undone and Ed would have continued on, worn and tired.
God may be just about to bless you.