The topic for chapel yesterday was "Be Humble." Humble is not proud not pretentious unassuming low in rank. As I reflected on this topic I thought how being in prison is a very humbling experience. As an inmate you are subjected to humiliating experiences. Some officers treat you like you are the scum of the earth. This experience can break you or draw you closer to God."And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldst keep his commandments or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live. Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years. Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee." Deuteronomy 8:2-5
Several things stood out to me in this passage. First of all God led His people through the wilderness for forty years so they would draw close to Him and depend on Him for all their needs. This time in prison has drawn me closer to God. As I am in a place where I need protection and where I can't control my circumstances, I am learning to depend on God and trust Him to lead and guide my life.
Secondly, God wanted His people to be humble. This experience has been humbling. I've realized how proud I was, and God has slowly been chipping away at me. I've realized I'm not better than anyone else. God has burdened my heart with the folks around me: individuals that I would have never approached before.
Thirdly, God took care of His children. He kept them in clothes and shoes and provided food and water when needed. I have seen over and over again how God has provided for my needs. He has even gone beyond the basics and allowed me to pursue my hobbies while I am here.
Fourthly, God chasteneth His children. Some can look at this as a punishment, but to me it's God's love. My roommate and I were talking one day, and she was telling me how miserable she felt when she did wrong and God corrected her. I told her it was a good thing God corrected her as it just proved she was His child. If you are not saved, God does not correct you. Before I came to prison my former pastor told me I wasn't saved. When I experience God's correction, I see His love and am reassured of my salvation.
God wants you to humble yourself. If you resist, He will humble you.