I volunteer with a non-profit organization that assists men and women coming out of prison, who are trying to rebuild their life. The following was written by Dave, one of the success stories from this group, written to people who are on the same journey. It is a story of God’s rescue and restoration.

Many days I have thought the worst of things and wanted the best out of life. The two just don’t work together. Sure, we have bad thoughts, but they can’t control us. “If we have no faith in the future, then we have no power in the present.” (Halford Edward Luccock (1885 – 1960)  Satan uses the worst to bring out the worst in us. Don’t let him have that power.

Psalm 90:12 says “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” If we continue on the path of destruction that we are on, we can’t expect the best out of life. We are better than that. Sometimes the chains that prevent us from being free are more mental than physical. I’m not saying all this as someone sitting out here in the free world.  I have been where you are. I served two prison terms. The first was a 16-year sentence, of which I served 7 1/2  years.

Proverbs 26:11 says “As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.” When I got out, as a dog returns to his vomit, I repeated my folly.  After just over a year of freedom I was sentenced to 23 years and served 11 1/2 years of that sentence. If you do the math, that is a total of 19 years that I was in prison. It took me that long to realize that the way I was going was not for me. Both my mother and father had passed away. And I lost all contact with my brothers and my friends (if that is what you want to call them). I did, however, remain close to some of my family members (just a handful), and I am very blessed to have them in my life. I’m not saying that they approved of my past, but they love me no matter what.

I also know that we cannot have a positive life and a negative mind. The two just don’t have room for one another. So we have to keep faith in the future, so the power is in the present. I think of everyone who is where you are right now and I know the day-to-day is just that, but Jesus loves you and has a purpose for you. It is easy to say what you want
while you are in prison, but the rubber meets the road once you are out. So apply your hearts to wisdom. The true challenge is to be what you want to be once you are out. It is great that you are trying to do your best where you are at this moment in time. Just carry that out with you and apply what you have learned once you are out and Jesus will take the wheel. You will have good and bad days, as I do, but you can’t give in to the easy way out. I lead a simple life now;  it is not boring, it is awesome!

There are so many people willing to help you down a good path. It just comes down to choices that we make. Some can make us and others can break us. I love you all, but most of all Jesus loves you. I hope that in some way this has helped you to stay positive and know that the power is in the present if we have faith in the future. – Dave

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