God At Work Through IM

Blooming in Grace

Blooming in Grace

Clarice had been in jail for more than a year. She had pretty much resigned herself to the possibility that she would soon be sent to prison. Her situation seemed dire.

I first visited Clarice after her bunkmate, Mara, had given me her name. Mara said that Clarice really needed to hear some good news in her life, and she was willing to meet with me. Soon Clarice and I were meeting every week to spend time in God’s Word and prayer. 

Initially, Clarice was fairly shy and guarded. Nevertheless, just like Mara had done, she soon shared the opportunity to hear about God’s amazing love with two other women. She knew that they, too, needed to hear the Gospel message of love and forgiveness through Jesus.

What a blessing for Clarice, and her two friends. Despite the difficult situation in her life, Clarice believed that God was working it out for her good. She heard the message of God’s amazing grace. The Holy Spirit worked faith in her heart to believe that Jesus had forgiven her sins by his perfect life, innocent death, and victorious rising from the dead. She understood the urgency to share that glorious message with others.

This is a great example of the adage “Bloom where you are planted.” This little phrase reminds us of what God’s Word tells us. It reminds us that God has promised to work all things out for our good no matter how dire our lives may appear. We had recently discussed this very thing in our Bible study about the life of Joseph in the Old Testament. 

Knowing that God had a plan and was working out all things for his good kept Joseph from becoming bitter. He did not complain; he did not seek revenge; he did not despair. He knew that God would use every detour, pain, and suffering he endured to fulfill his perfect will. Instead, Joseph forgave his brothers: “And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.” (Genesis 45:5)

Thank God that Clarice is blooming! Through the work of the Holy Spirit, her faith is blooming. Her faith is shining through the darkness of her situation. The witness she gives to her loving, faithful God is drawing others to the hope that she now has through Jesus. 

We don’t often see what’s going on in the hearts of people. However, we can always trust that God is working, as promised, through his powerful Word. How humbling and amazing it is that we have the privilege to be the messengers of this Good News. How precious it is that God allowed me to see his work in Clarice’s heart.

Ministry Behind the Walls

Institutional Ministries is a nonprofit organization established in 1901 that carries out behind-the-walls ministry by shining the light of Jesus’ love into hearts.