We’re all sojourners. Just passing through this phase of life. James described our lives as being like a mist that appears for a moment, but then it’s gone (James 4:14).
Life on earth is temporary.
One day sometime after my son’s incarceration, it hit me—if my life here is temporary, why do I dwell too much on this life?
I began to thank God that Stephen surrendered his life to the Lord. I took comfort in knowing that should one of us pass on or Jesus returns, we will be reunited in our heavenly home.
That’s when I transformed my son’s room into the “Sojourner Room.” I shopped estate sales and garage sales to purchase vintage luggage. And the walls contain various conveyances—cars, boats, and planes.
Yes, what was once my son’s bedroom is now the guest room for those who are passing through.
In Hebrews 11, often called the Hall of Faith chapter, we read about the men and women of faith—Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah and others.
These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. (Hebrews 11:13-16 ESV)
All of the people listed in this chapter of the Bible “acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.” They understood that there was something better.
We too are promised something better. Christ our Savior said, “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (John 14:2-3 ESV).
In Jesus, we have something better to look forward to. This present life is temporary.
Once I learned to focus my eyes on what’s ahead and stop looking at my present situation, I felt the Lord show me that fellow sojourners needed encouragement along the way.
As fellow travelers, we need support and encouragement as we traverse this lifetime. We face difficulties that we’re not meant to handle alone.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 ESV).
The Lord is faithful and I’ve been comforted by Him in this prison journey. Now I can show others who experience similar circumstances comfort.
As a result, I’ve started the following for those whose lives have been impacted by incarceration:
Hope for Prison Inmate Families – a closed Facebook group for family members and friends who have a loved one in prison or on parole as well as former offenders. We share encouragement from the Scriptures and pray for one another’s needs.
The (Re)Source – a weekly subscription based email that deals specifically with issues for prison families.
Fortress of Hope Ministries – support group meetings for those whose lives have been impacted by incarceration.
By stepping out and helping other sojourners on this journey, I found peace and joy in the Lord. When we reach out and help others, a joy that cannot be described with words descends over us.
Look around you. Who can you help or encourage today? What action can you take to share comfort with someone else who has hurt?
Wanted: a virtual volunteer (or volunteers) for assistance with Fortress of Hope Ministries. If you have a desire to help, click here for more information.