Have you been stuck in a situation before with no way out? Just like the time I went to prison with my dad; I know how it feels to be stuck…
Every Saturday my dad would go to a local prison to speak encouragement to the inmates. As a kid I used to joke that my dad was in and out of prison all the time. One day my dad allowed me to go with him to let me see where I didn’t want to end up. When we got to the gate and were searched they escorted us past several cells into a room. Then a line of men entered the room all dressed in one piece uniforms. You could see the discouragement on these inmates faces as they all entered the room. After my dad shared a lesson we went through another round of inspections before we were able to leave. As we sat there waiting I asked my dad had anyone escaped before; he responded “Yes.” Which shot fear through my body, I quickly asked how and he began to tell me the story of the key maker.
One year a man was arrested for stealing several cars. They found out he would make keys for them and drive away. After years of doing this he was finally caught in the act and put into prison for life. He was put into a cell with another guy who he didn’t get along with others. One night the cell mate woke up to see the cell door closing with the key maker standing on the other side. The cell mate quickly jumped up and asked him “How did you get out?” The key maker quietly explained that he made keys for a living and was slowly collecting metal to make a key to escape. The cell mate exclaimed “Unlock the door and take me with you!” The key maker responded, “I can’t because the key broke in the process.” The cell mate then furiously asked, “Well how come you never told me you could make a key to escape?” The key maker said, “You never cared who I was while I was with you. I’m sure you won’t mind that I’m gone.” As the key maker disappeared into the dark the cell mate was in shock. Thoughts of regret and anger came to the surface. He began to yell but no one around cared to listen. The cell mate sunk back into his bed thinking about the opportunity he had missed. If only he had known or asked just one question his situation could be different. He could also be free if he had asked for help before it was gone.
This story amazed me when I realized how it relates to many of our lives. Like a prison we get stuck in situations, debt or depression. We find ourselves in places in our lives with no hope for escape. We usually know the situation that we are in, but we are blind to the people in our lives that could help us. The people that are placed in our lives are the very key to our escape. Friends, and even enemies, can help us find a way to escape from our problems. The real problem is that we don’t ask for help. We put all of the pressure on ourselves and are not willing to turn to someone else. We will find freedom when we take the focus off ourselves.
After my dad told me this story I was amazed and still afraid. As a kid I didn’t understand what being stuck in a prison cell of life really meant. Even so I asked how you know if I was stuck I could get out. He response was perfect, Matthew 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.”
At times you may think you are alone with no where to turn for help; but that is exactly why Jesus came to this world. He came to sacrifice himself so that we could have freedom. Jesus is your key in a world of prison doors. You may feel alone but Jesus is there if you will just ask Him for help.