So… you know that feeling when your phone rings somewhere between 1:30 and 2 o’clock am.
Well… I was feeling that! Startled. Sleepy. Who could be calling us at this time. (heart beating fast)
“Hey Mom. This is Kevin. I”m in jail.”
“What? Where? What for?”
“Yeah. In _______. For armed robbery.”
[Deep breath.] This is how it went down. He was in a car with two other guys. One guy, who he only knew a few days, decided he would go into the gas station with a broken BB gun and rob the store. So when he gets back into the car, they leave the store, and the cops are chasing them. They get pulled over and all taken to jail, charged with armed robbery. [Deep breath.]
This is my baby boy. I ask, “What happens next?” He didn’t know… it was his first time getting in trouble with the law. He’s two months away from being 18 years old. I surely didn’t know what to do. Take that back. I did know what to do… PRAY! So that’s just what I did. I prayed, I cried, I prayed some more, I cried, I paced the floor. “Lord, this is BIG!” I’m just gonna be real with you and tell you that I was mad, hurt, scared, freaked out! I cried out to the Lord. I need to know what to do… what not to do.
I couldn’t sleep and my mind was going a mile a minute, trying to figure out our next move. A verse in the Bible came into my heart and I prayed, “When I am afraid, I will trust in You.” Psalm 56:3
Then, I was desperate for God to speak to me. I wanted a Word from His Word, to calm my anxious heart. He never fails me. Here’s what I opened to and began reading:
Praise the Lord. How blessed are those who fear the Lord, who find great delight in his His commands.
Their children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in their houses, and their righteousness endures forever.
Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice.
Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever.
They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
So hear is what I heard God speak to my heart in the middle of the night:
Eva, you are one of those who fear the Lord and you love my Word. This is not the end of my work in Kevin. He is your child and he will be blessed. Even in the darkness of this seemingly hopeless situation, I will shine My light. I have not forgotten you; I have heard your cry. You do not have to fear this bad news. Keep your heart steadfast, trusting in Me. When this is all over with, you will see your enemies defeated.
I went to bed that night, assured that God would move in this terrifying nightmare. I’m not going to say that the next 18 months were not hard. I had to visit my son, through a window and talk to him on a phone that was muffled. I had to watch as little children waiting to visit with their father through the window. It was a difficult time. But God sustains you, when you are totally trusting Him. I do want to say this… and I’ve said it to my children a thousand times, “Be not deceived: Bad company corrupts good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33 You become like the people you hang with.
Kevin was released about 18 months later. We missed celebrating his birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, his birthday, Thanksgiving… I know that he was keeping me from worrying about him. He always said that he was doing fine. For a mother, one day was too long for her son to be in jail. My hands were tied, but I could still lift them and sing praises to God! So what do you do when you find yourself in a situation that you can’t change? Walk day by day, trusting in JESUS to bring you through to the other side.
I’m so thankful those days are behind us. God visited my son behind those bars and caused his heart to draw near. When we go through hard times, “we know that all things work together for good to those who love God…” Romans 8:28
This is really cool… just this week I read something that fits right in with this story:
“And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!” Acts 16:24-25
Listen, Your worship can break the chains off of others. That’s powerful! So what are you waiting for…get started now. Worship the Lord! Sing praises to Him. Offer Him extravagant worship! Worship is more than singing. It comes from a relationship with the Lord.
If you don’t know how to do that, let me make a suggestion. Start by crying out to HIM! Then Go to YouTube and type in worship songs. Some of my favorites are Vertical Church Band, Hillsong, Josh Lopez (Breakthrough). Click the song and start to sing. Learn the words to these songs and let them go deep into your heart. Sing them to the Lord. You will be changed as you begin this life of worship!
Living in HIS Joy!