Many of you have asked about my brother lately. I figured this is the best place to fill you in.
Last night Noah experienced jail for the first time. We went to see David. Sunday nights children are allowed on the visits. Boy, this shines a new light on the concept of Family Night. But it was great to see David and I think Noah's presence was good for both of them. Even for an adult, the first visit to someone in jail is gut churning. Noah was really nervous. We had a good visit and David was very grateful that we were there.
Last Sunday night I saw David for the first time in almost a year. My mom and I went to see him. He has been sentenced to 4 years in prison on drug related charges. He is waiting to be transferred from the county jail. I went last week thinking it would be my last time to see him for a couple years. He will get time served. So he will most likely be in prison two years. He was so skinny. He shaved his head since that is what they would do upon his arrival in prison. He looks so old it was hard not to cry. But he didn't need to see me cry; he needed to be encouraged. And as I read some scripture to him, I became filled with a boldness and faith that God is indeed doing something in David's life.
A little background: David got out of jail one year ago. He accepted Christ while in there and I saw a true change in him. But when he got out, he drifted back into isolation from support and ended up on the street again. He has been doing alot of meth this year. That is why is body looks so old. But there is joy in his eyes! He had a GIANT study Bible and followed along as I read from Isaiah.
Sometimes when I think about David, I just feel sorry for him. It's like he is stuck in a current and can't swim out. Before I saw David, I read Isaiah 49. It was as if this were written just for him! I saw notes written in the margins where I had prayed this for David in 1998. But when I read this time, there was an assurance and comfort that only comes from the Spirit. I couldn't wait to see David and read him this stuff!
Chapter 49 starts out with "Hear This! Before I was born the Lord called me." I told David, "You need to say this outloud! I don't know why God calls people when he does. I don't understand God's timing in calling you. But this I am sure of! God has called you now."
He said to me, "You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendor."
But I said, "I have labored to now purpose; I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing.
Yet what is due me is in the Lord's hand, and my reward is with my God."
The chapter goes on to say more like this that is just so perfect for David's life.
I assured David that God is going to be glorified in his life. And I believe for the first time in a long time, that there is freedom for David. I prayed for David before our visit was over. I prayed that he would allow God's forgiveness to saturate his heart. I encouraged David to let go of guilt and regret. There will be a time for making things right with people. But now is the time for restoration. I want him to receive from God all that he feels unworthy of receiving.
This may not be David's last bout with drugs or jail, but God is extending his grace and forgiveness to David. And if David will cling to God for his very survival, he will make it. I was glad to hear him say that he is filling out an application to go into a Christian men's recovery program upon his release. He needs 24 hour accountibility. David has always told me that the drugs have a voice. He has been powerless to resist it for so many years.
Please pray two things for my brother:
1. That he will truly embrace his need for ongoing accountibility and follow through in going where God wants him.
2. That he will be able to pray. His words were that he is reading his Bible all day, and that he is getting a little better at praying. I have thought about this several times this week. Knowing David, I believe this stems from guilt. He feels unworthy of communion with Christ. The devil is using his old tricks on David's mind. So please pray with me that David can see and understand the love the Father has for him.
Thanks for taking time to read this!