Most inmates are starving. Hungry to be filled but no nutrition to be found. Going from one place to another looking for something to quench their appetites. Unfortunately most inmates die hungry.
You would think I was talking about food, but I’m not. To be perfectly honest, California prisons feed us very well. The food might smell and taste like rotten dog food; however, three meals a day is much more than some families eat today.
So what am I talking about? Spiritual starvation. Inmates are inmates not because their crimes got them here, but because their longing to fill that spiritual hunger drove them to drugs, alcohol abuse, crime and pride. And that drive to fill their void got stronger by the day. It became so normal to wake up each morning with spiritual hunger pangs that it became part of their natural lives. It numbed them to the consequences of their quests to fill their hunger via drugs, alcohol abuse, crime and pride. They continue to seek ways to fill that empty void. They find ways to use drugs. They become master brewers of fruit to make alcohol. And they even turn to homosexual activities to fill the hunger pangs within.
It is a sad reality. A reality that is an opportunity for us who are full with God’s love and grace. In Proverbs 27:7 it says “He who is full loathes honey, but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet.”
Now, I know this verse is used to teach that a man who is rich and has it all is not moved by the simple things in life, and a person who has nothing finds pleasure in the simple things of life. But I believe this verse can also be taught a bit differently. Basically, when one is full, then he will not be hungry. Nothing tempts you because you are full, content, not in need of more. However, when one is hungry, even things that don’t taste good (like prison food) will be delicious.
I can testify that prison can drive you to participate in things that you never intended to do, yet gave in to because at the time even the bitter tasted sweet. This is why Christ is very important in prisons. Because if we can fill the hungry souls of these inmates with Christ’s love, mercy and grace they will find that they will be too full to even take a second look at something else.
What I mean is when we fill our lives with God, we will not be tempted to sin. Filling ourselves up with the love, joy, and peace of our Lord will give us the foundation to resist temptations, impure motives, adultery, immorality, addictions and even sin-driven depression. However, if one does not have God and this goodness in him, he will always be seeking ways to be filled with ungodly things, making excuses and convincing himself that even the bitter tastes sweet.
Please pray for those inmates and ministries that are working with the hungry and showing them how to find the Eternal Bread and Living Water that Christ has to offer. It is not easy work. Unfortunately, most that have been living hungry for so long have now gotten used to it – wanting to seek no further than their own vomit.
Please pray that the Holy Spirit will pour His power upon all the prisons and the hungry that live within their walls.
–Adrian Torres … not hungry (spiritually)