It was October 1, 1999. I was sentenced to seven years in prison for an assault. That assault was not my only crime, but it was the crime that saved my life. I was also addicted to narcotics and alcohol. I had no respect for anything or anyone including myself. I was also an atheist.

Transferred to an Overcrowded Prison
After about a week in jail, I was transported to a special temporary prison. Inmates are usually held there for a couple of days, so this facility was overcrowded. I was assigned to an eight man cell, but there were sixteen of us locked in there.

A Hidden Bible is Discovered
I wish I knew the exact date when I discovered the treasure, but I don’t. Maybe a week or less into my stay, I found something that would change my life forever. As I lay on the floor of my cell, I noticed something under a bunk and against the wall. It was a book: “The Good News Bible in modern English.” I had never read the Bible. But it was still something to occupy my mind, so I opened to page one. I read, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” And so it began.

My Heart begins to Change
I continued to read, and read, and read. Sometimes I read late into the night. I found some relief when I reached the Psalms and Proverbs. These Books made more of an impact on me. I could tell through the writings of the Psalms and the Prophets (especially Isaiah) that something big was coming. For example, I read in Isaiah 53:5,

“But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.”

I Find Salvation
I was reading the Gospel of Matthew, in particular the death of Isa Al-Masih. I broke down and cried as silently as I could while I read the horrific story of Isa’s last hours. I wept. Once my tears had finally stopped, I closed my eyes and begged forgiveness for my life of sin. I told Isa I believed in Him and I asked Him to be with me. I felt a wave of comfort mixed with excitement fall upon my heart.

During my stay at this prison facility, I watched inmates come and go.  One day, an inmate asked me when I thought I might be getting out of there. I told him I didn’t know. But then it hit me. I said to myself, “God will let me go when I finish His book.”

My Journey with My Savior Begins
I read, “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you all. Amen” (Revelation 22:21). I closed the book. It was finished. My journey through the Word of God was complete. The very next night that prison transfers were being made, my time had come and I was sent to a new prison.  Just how I knew it would happen? God kept me there until I finished His Book! My journey was only beginning, but the wonderful thing is that it has no ending! It has no ending because God’s Book says, “I give them eternal life and they shall never perish” (Injil, John 10:28). Amen.

 

Used with permission.  The original article is published at http://www.isaandislam.com