Heartbreaking Disappointments In Ministry

acceptable-man-cryThere are always disappointments in life regardless how hard we try to avoid them. In the last several years of ministry I can think of several disappointments that I have faced. One of those was with a man who came to the chapel one day with the goal of accusing me of being unfair with him.  After yelling insanities at me for some time, he left the chapel visibly upset. I wish I could tell you that I talked to him the next day but I never got that chance as he was pushed down the steps in his dorm that night and died. I was gravely disappointed! I asked God why? He was not a Christian but I had been involved in his life a lot through him being enrolled in my classes and his frequent chapel visits. I was disappointed because here was a man that I had grown to love as a person but yet after all our talks about forgiveness and redemption he still hadn’t chosen to follow Christ.

A few months ago I was faced again with another disappointment that impacted me even more. A man that had lived in the Faith Based Honor Dorm at the prison, who had been released a year ago had his picture back in the news. According to the authorities this man had robbed a Gas Station at gunpoint and ending up killing the attendant. This was a man I had spent a lot of time with, someone that I had seen making an effort to do right but always seemed to stop short of surrendering to God. I can still vividly remember the day that he was released and how he asked me to pray for him. I still remember the fear on his face but the determination he voiced.  I remember most of all the last words he said to me before we parted, “Chap I will be ok.”

When I saw the news I couldn’t help but shed tears.  Why God? Why didn’t he surrender to you? Why didn’t he make it? Why? What could I have done differently? Today there is a family that lost a loved one, someone’s daughter and the man responsible is someone I had a chance to impact. I understand that God is the One that draws men to Him, but I still feel a responsibility to make a more effective impact on the men I serve at prison. Pray for me as I continue to serve my God by proclaiming Christ and discipling inmates daily inside of prison. Pray that men would surrender to Jesus and that I would never have to see another chose hell over heaven.

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