Giving the credit where credit is due—to Jesus
One evening about a month ago, one of our clients, Miguel, was standing outside the Mission talking to another client. Out of the corner of his eye he could see a gentleman who lives in the neighborhood. Once they finished talking, Miguel was standing alone on the lawn.
The man approached Miguel and started a conversation—keeping in mind social-distancing measures and wearing masks, of course! This gentleman was holding a beverage that’s commonly known to help with the effects of detox from drug use. He told Miguel how much he envied him and the other men in program. He told him the Mission’s clients look so happy and healthy.
This man implied that Miguel was doing something mystical or beyond the reach of a normal person. Miguel explained to him that some of his success was definitely due to discipline. He pointed to the beverage and explained that was part of his problem, and would never be part of his success. But Miguel also gave the majority of credit where it is due: Jesus. This man needed simple hope, and that’s what Miguel reminded him.
In 1 Peter 1:3-5, it says “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.”
Peter reminds his readers of the hope to those who believe; a hope that can’t be lost or destroyed. This hope is salvation that comes with faith in Jesus. This hope sometimes seems overly simple, so we forget its power. When we’re desperate for change, we put our hope in things that are utterly hopeless. This gentleman was so desperate for hope that, in his mind, all he needed was pain relief from detox. His years of drug addiction would go away. In his mind, the Mission’s clients find their success from Ibuprofen. This is what sin does to us.
He still occasionally watches our clients playing basketball or working out in our gym. He sees them fellowshipping. If he were to look closer, he’d see the real difference makers: the time they spend reading their Bibles and praying in their bunks. He’d see them praying for one another. He’d see the “aha!” in their eyes during class or counseling.
In the coming months, please pray for this gentleman. Pray for the men in our program. God uses the Mission as a city on the hill on the Central Coast. He uses the Mission to minister to those experiencing poverty, homelessness and addiction. Pray our clients, past, present and future, see that His hope is simple, and it’s far greater than any alternative.
Chris Rutledge, Program Manager