New King James Version (NKJV)
10 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
While imprisoned at Airway Heights, I had an experience that I would like to relate. After my experience with Shelton, I wanted to know God, and when I first arrived at Airway Heights, a couple of inmates introduced themselves and invited me to Church, which I accepted. The pastor there was a wonderful man, he taught by example and always consulted God, and it seemed God almost always answered his prayers, except one, and that was for another child, because his wife miscarried, but even that he handled in a way that we all should handle our misfortunes.
But not me… I first was celled with a tall black man named David, who was a preacher, and he’d give a sermon at the church, it was moving, he had a mighty voice.
When I’d try to sleep it was my snore that was moving and he would get very angry when it woke him up and he’d use that mighty voice to wake my ass up so he could sleep.
Then I got celled with another inmate, this one in addition to being troubled by my snoring was also bipolar, and on his high swings was fairly pleasant, composed music, played guitar, but on his low swings was a complete grump.
The cell on the ground floor was very cold, and we were only allowed two cotton blankets, which were a very loose weave and didn’t hold much heat in at all. I shivered through the nights and sleeping was difficult.
The two that had invited me to church and a few others formed a group and we’d do a Bible study once a week.
One weekend, while taking a shower, we had a fire drill. I was unfamiliar with what the fire alarm sounded like and they had previously been drilling holes to install something called “J-Pay”, a console that you could get music from or in theory video visits with family remotely although they never got that part working while I was there. So when the fire alarm went off I didn’t get out of the shower because it sounded just like the drilling.
At first I was just verbally chewed out for it, which in prison you can’t hardly breath without the guards chewing you out for something so not a big deal. I was worried about getting infracted, particularly since it could mean loss of “good time”, time off for good behavior and I really desired that my stay be as brief as possible.
So I am at a table with some of my friends and we’re studying the Bible and had just read Isaiah 14:10, and a goon squad, about five officers, one carrying handcuffs, came to the table and ordered me to stand up. We had just finished reading that verse, and I was angry at God, because I was being punished for something that wasn’t my fault, I didn’t know the fire alarm had gone off. So I shouted as they took me away, “My righteous right hand, My ass!”
Well, I spent about nine days in the hole, and when I returned my old cell had been assigned to someone else. I was given a cell up on the 2nd floor in a part of the building that was warm, I got a cellie who wasn’t bothered by my snoring and was also a Christian. And as it turned out that was the only infraction I got and I didn’t loose any good time over it.
So it turned out, God, whom I was angry at, actually used that to get me in a better situation, to answer my prayers.