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Food for the Soul: A Series of Lenten Meditations (Day 11-20 )

Day 11

I have received my parole over four months ago and have not gotten out yet. Yet, through all this, I continue to pray to the Lord, my God. My older sister has reminded me to take it, "One day at a time," and said that, "All good things come to those who wait." Praise the Lord!

Prayer: I pray that I may be released from the confines of this prison soon.

Day 12

Waiting! We are waiting for a letter from a loved one, waiting for the day to end, waiting for freedom, waiting for relief from pain, waiting for the perfect relationship, waiting for peace. We are waiting, for life inside the walls, as well as life outside, is filled with waiting. Waiting calls for a certain degree of hope and expectation from us. We wait because we believe we will receive, maybe not in the immediate future, but someday. Sometimes calamity enters our lives and we can't possibly see any good that might come from it. Sometimes the pain is so deep that we can't possibly imagine that it will ever be better. At those times, all we can do is brace ourselves and wait for deliverance.

The Lord says He will not give us more than we can handle. I can recall a few moments in my life when I truly doubted that. But looking back, I remember that when the pain became too great, when I believed my heart was breaking so much that soon it would just stop completely, was the time that an incredible, unmistakable sense of peace and relief came over me. That was God. It had to be. So now, as I look ahead to the trials I know I will face, I have faith that I will make it through. Sometimes we can see better from a distance than we can up close.

The pain is the greatest when it is staring us in the face; but when the pain becomes overwhelming, God reaches down and holds us. Nothing else could ever get us through. We so often become impatient, but God's timing is perfect timing. It all works out for the Perfect will of God. Waiting: We wait so that we will receive; our faithful God will always answer.

Prayer: Father, I pray that in my waiting, I do not lose hope or become weary, and always trust in you. AMEN.

Day 13

While waiting to be sentenced, I had a lot of time to think about how and why I got where I was. I called on the Lord for the strength to endure the long road. I knew what was ahead of me. I was looking at 22 years of my life behind bars. This was one of the most difficult waits in my life.

I praise and thank God for all he has done and is still doing in my life. The eight months that I waited seems like a flash of time that's well behind me now. God held my hand and walked through it all with me. I had plenty of time to read the good Word. This comfort was irreplaceable.

I received ten years instead of 22 years, and 3 years of that was suspended. I'll wait 29 months until my first parole date. I thank God every day for his patience with me, and his loving hand now guiding my life. I am so very happy he loves me, a sinner. I honestly feel that I was rescued and not arrested. I see and feel his presence more and more every day. God has mercy on those he loves. All my praise, thanks, love, and life are now His.

Prayer: Lord, help me to wait for your will. AMEN.

Day 14

I waited for a lot of things, things that were never worth waiting for, until one day I called on the Lord and prayed. He gave me better things to wait on. I'm still waiting on some of those things, and I struggle every day. But I call on the Lord for help and guidance, and he always hears my cry for help. Even though I sometimes turn from the Lord and continue to sin, I will always wait for the things the Lord knows I need. I know I will continue to struggle daily; but after the waiting and struggling, I will have those things. I will continue to wait on the Lord with joy.

Prayer: Lord, help me to wait. Guide me, and continue to give me the strength to wait in Jesus' name. I will call on your name everyday of my life. Bless me with your goodness Lord. AMEN.

Day 15

I waited to get baptized, and on March 31st of this year, I got baptized. Now the Lord shows me the way to go each day. So I don't deserve any write-up, thanks to the Lord. Also, I asked the Lord to take me through the waiting for court. I am going back to court because of some of the stuff that was not done. Hopefully, I will get a time cut.

Prayer: Dear God, help me to live in hope, no matter what happens from day to day. AMEN.

Day 16

I lived in a life of sin, drinking, drugs, and sex. Divorced and a mother of two, I left my children with their father. The only thing I was waiting for was the next drink, hit, or man. Then I got arrested. After my arrest, I was waiting to go to prison. I thought that once I was sentenced, my life would end. Little did I know that being in prison wouldve made me feel a greater freedom than I'd ever felt. Now I am thankful for being arrested and placed in prison. The only thing I continue to wait for is the day the Lord takes me home.

Prayer: Lord please help me to live a life that is pleasing to you, as I continue to wait for you to take me home. AMEN.

Day 17

I was waiting for my time to get out of the hole. While I was in there, I learned how to deal with the anxiety of leaving the hole. I learned how to pray and how to ask God to help me with the troubles I was having. As the days came and went, I learned that waiting is a kind of game. As the days go on, you get better as you play the game. My patience grew, dealing with everything and everyone. Then the day came when I got out of the hole. What I got out of all this is, if you wait and pray, the days go quickly. Prayer: Lord, I ask you to give me the strength to wait for the time when you will give me what you want. AMEN.

Day 18

I hate to wait; I want to be first. But, incredibly, I find that if I can't be first, I want to be last. I am referring to waiting in line for any reason. Of course, the really big thing about waiting is what you are waiting for.

If you're waiting to get an ice cream cone, it is not the same as waiting to get executed. Even then, some don't mind waiting for ice cream because you know how good it's going to be. But, some don't have the patience to wait, regardless of what they are facing, good or bad.

Patience and long-suffering are fruits of the spirit. And if you think about patience and long-suffering, they are like fruits for others to eat. No one is the sole beneficiary of his own patience and long-suffering.

What good does it do a man to be long-suffering? It toughens him to do what he needs to do. So while you are waiting, ask yourself: "Who is benefiting from my patient waiting?" God is probably using your patience to further his will, not yours.

Prayer: Lord, grant me the spirit of long-suffering and patience to do your will. AMEN.

Day 19

My personal lesson for you deals with needing the feeling of forgiveness. It's been a big problem in my life and given me a lot of setbacks and downfalls.

But now, no matter how angry I am, I will call on the Lord's name and pray for forgiveness. I pray for the patience to get through my struggles, to keep moving through this journey toward freedom. I will continue to struggle daily; but with the Lord, I will be strong and hang on. I hope and pray for the Lord to help my brothers and sisters the same way, by forgiving them.

Prayer: God of Salvation, help me to know my wrongs and struggles and confess them, so I can let them go. You can lead me and help me. AMEN.

Day 20

Waiting has always been a test for me. My patience sometimes feels like a long agony or a short happiness. I do artwork, and that takes patience and time. I think about where my life has been and where it is in the present. I basically inventory the events of my life. It has been full of a lot of anger and sadness. When I look at my son, it brings joy to my heart and life.

Prayer: I pray for my family and son, that they don't have a hard time while I'm away. I pray that they just love each other and do the best they can. AMEN.

Food for the Soul: A Series of Lenten Meditations
Copyright © 2003
Prison Congregations of America.
Used with permission.

Categories: Lent - Easter - Holy Week