Ultimate Joy

Prison

Posted on: December 19, 2009

On Saturday, my husband, Richard, and I went to prison! 

Volunteers from my church traveled to the only maximum security prison in Illinois for female youth offenders to share the good news of Christ’s birth.  We met in small groups for conversation with the residents, heard the Christmas story, had lunch and then sang various worship songs and Christmas carols. 

What made the afternoon so special, though, was the music.  This was not your mama’s organ music.  Four members of the church band rocked the place; blew off the doors and the roof would be more exact.  The highlight was when the residents formed a conga line and danced around the auditorium in a spontaneous celebration.

Once again, that proved to me something I’ve known all along – it is impossible to be sad when you are praising God.  For about a half hour during the worship time, the girls forgot where they were, forgot they were alone, forgot they’d spend Christmas separated from their families.  They were girls once more…singing, dancing and enjoying life.

Worshipping God doesn’t mean just singing.  Anything can be an act of worship.  I Corinthians 10:31 tells us “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”  This means that our daily grind can be honoring to God!  Our studies, our habits, our interests and our relationships are all able to reflect some aspect of God’s character. 

The afternoon was extremely memorable because for several hours, I was partly responsible for making the invisible God visible in this world.  The girls weren’t the only ones that forgot their sorrows.  I stood in utter joy and amazement as I experienced God’s unrelenting love in those dismal, cold surroundings.

A concern for the glory of God is the ultimate motive for Christian living.  So, the most important question I need to ask myself in any decision is whether it will reflect God’s glory or deflect it.  I need to remind myself daily that all I do is for the glory of God.  And when I weave the concern for the glory of God into the fabric of my life, I experience an eloquent, intimate relationship with Him.  I see God working powerfully and dramatically in my life.  With my eyes focused on the celebration, I can live in an uncompromising bond with the God who saves, restores, comforts, encourages, exalts and blesses.

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