Sims was sharing his testimony of deliverance through Jesus Christ with the other residents at His Way. Every resident before they graduate the first six months of our program must teach a graduation class. Usually the class is a personal testimony accounting the ravages that addiction brought their lives, what they have come to understand and live over the past six months, and encouragement to the others who are on a similar journey…encouragement that there is hope and better days on the horizon.
As Sims revealed his pain filled story of personal loss, the death of dear friends, and his own numerous brushes with death through overdoses and accidents, he began to talk about God’s purpose and calling through these tragedies. He shared that he believed that God was calling him into some type of ministry through these experiences. He believed that these painful experiences were not in vain, but to prepare him to help others. He particularly felt a pull toward reaching out to teens to alert them to the dangers before it is too late. As he shared these revelations in his life, he then turned to a passage that he had just read days before that he called “fire”. It was a passage that he believed summed up best what he believed God was calling him to, a passage of true personal inspiration. He then proceeded to read to us with impassioned fire Isaiah 61:1, 2, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
As he closed his Bible tears filled his eyes as expressed how this best summarized his calling. My jaw dropped and heart leapt. I quickly flipped in my Bible to Luke 4:17-21 with my heart bursting with joy. Sims without knowing it had just read the same passage Jesus had selected to read in his own hometown synagogue to announce his ministry and purpose. This was not just some random inspirational scripture that Sims had run across, but in fact his own Savior’s personal calling to ministry and summary of his purpose. This was no random incident, but in fact a true anointing of God’s call on a young man’s heart.
I shared the Luke passage with the class, and Sims in particular, and just for a moment, I felt I was truly on the holiest of ground as God was corralling a young man’s heart into a life calling.
A true anointing!