Jesus may not give us everything we want, or even everything we think we need. But he will give us everything we truly need — all the way to the end.
Each of us has our own unique struggles in life. And each of us knows what it’s like to meet times in life when we find ourselves out of gas. So how do we keep pressing on when we feel completely depleted?
This reality is also true inside Angola, the largest maximum-security prison in the US, and home to 6,300 prisoners — a place reserved for “only murderers, rapists, armed robbers, and habitual felons, where the average sentence is 88 years, with 3,200 people in one place serving life sentences. Ninety percent of the inmates will die here” (Decision Magazine, “Violence to Peace”).
Warden Burl Cain led the place for years. He was an outspoken Christian and “a man with a near-mythical reputation for turning Angola, once known as the bloodiest prison in the South, into a model facility” (Mother Jones, “God’s Own Warden”).
Pastor John preached in Angola’s chapel on November 20, 2009, to about eight hundred prisoners. He preached on John 6, on Jesus’s feeding of the five thousand and his walk on water. Here’s one of my favorite clips, from what is one of my favorite sermons, on the goodness of Jesus when it feels like we have run out of gas for life. Here’s Pastor John.