High Country Prison Ministry
By Jody Griffin
Avery and Mitchell County
“…and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Amen. (Matthew 28:20, KJV)
The promise of God’s Presence is perhaps one of the most misunderstood of all the promises found in Scripture. Our human understanding cannot perceive of a God Who will be with us through good AND bad, through ups AND downs, through our righteous living AND in the midst of our sin. Yet that is exactly what Jesus declared to His disciples before He ascended again into the heavens.
It is this very Promise that I have been privileged to remind the community that makes up AMCI during these most challenging times. “He is here. He is Present among us, and for that singular reason we can trust that all is well.” The disciples who heard these words would soon find themselves facing threats to their safety and well-being, yet they would press on and they would trust that God was with them.
Being separated from one’s family is perhaps the single most difficult consequence for many or even most of the incarcerated. It has been such an honor for me to be a source of encouragement to the men I serve. And I am blessed beyond measure to encourage staff members each day who know that their work is truly “essential”. No doubt, there is a great risk to all during days of the pandemic. But we MUST remember that we are NOT alone.
God’s Presence is part of God’s Sovereignty, and God through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit keeps this Divine Promise even as we fail to recognize it.
How might this Promise help all of us today? Here is a suggestion…Make this Promise of God a mantra that carries you through. “He is here. He is Present among us, and for this singular reason I will trust that all is well.” A mantra is designed as a repetitive word or phrase used in meditation. Though often associated with Eastern religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism it has also been employed as a tool in the Christian faith to aid the individual in entering most fully into the Presence of Christ. Can’t you see the potential for God’s Blessing to be made known to you as you repeat this mantra throughout the day?
Thank you to all who are praying for us at AMCI! We know your prayers as a source of comfort and peace during these days. We are anxiously awaiting the days when volunteers and visitors are among us again! Until then, we are depending upon the Promise of His Presence to sustain us through these days and to deliver us into a future filled with hope! “He is here! He is Present among us and for this singular reason we will trust that all is well!” Thanks, Be to God!
Jody Griffin is pastor of Central Baptist Church in Spruce Pine and Community Funded Chaplin at Avery-Mitchell Correctional Institution. If you would like more information contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.