words before traveling from the east coast to the west coast.
When I came home from seeing Steven, I had a note from the government, an invitation of sorts, one of those that you can’t refuse – Jury duty! Noooooooo, I cried as I read that I needed to report on the following Monday.
“God, you love me too much to let this happen to me. You know I’ve only got four days before I have to go back out again.”
I folded the letter and prayed for deliverance. My only hope was that when I called in the night before I was to report, the operator would say my number was not needed. That did not happen. When she read the list, my number was called.
“OK Lord, I’ll report, but I know you love me too much to let me get selected to be on a jury.”
When I arrived at the court house, I discovered that there were four cases being tried that day. About 120 of us good citizens waited in a room, most hoping our names would not be called. After three hours, I heard those two words I did not want to hear – “Sharon Jaynes.”
OK Lord, I’m one of thirty people called in this group, but I know that You love me too much to let me be chosen to serve on a jury. Remember California in four days
The jury selection was arduous. It was an armed robbery case and the defense and prosecuting attorney were taking this very seriously. Twelve potential jurors were called and my heart silently cheered! I was not one of them! Hurray!
But things started going quickly downhill. The two attorneys grilled the possible jurors. Had they ever been robbed? Had they ever used drugs? Did they know any District Attorneys? Had they ever been arrested? Did they know the defendant? Twelve went up and five came down.
More went up and more came down. Finally I heard the wonderful words, “Judge, we are satisfied with the jury.” I was not one of them.
No sooner had I picked up my belongings and started making my escape, when the judge said, “Now we will pick the alternate.”
Lord, you love me too much….
Downcast and defeated I approached the jury box. For the next few minutes I told both attorneys all the reasons why I would be a poor choice. I knew several DAs. I had a friend that went to prison for cocaine possession and I thought the judge was way too lenient on him. I’ve been robbed – twice!
No matter. I was on. As an alternate, I had to show up every day, but did not even get to give my opinion or cast a vote. I just had to sit there and watch! (And you know I wanted to give my opinion.)
As discouraged as I was to be spending my precious few days at the courthouse, I must say the trial was a bit entertaining. I’m not even sure if it’s legal for me to be telling you this. Here are the basics of the case.
A man, the accused, got off work at 5:00 in the afternoon. Over the next twelve hours, he consumed two fifths of Wild Irish Rose wine, one-fifth of liquor, snorted crack cocaine, smoked marijuana, and drank a case of beer. Sometime the following morning, he had the stamina to walk in and rob a convenient store.
The store employee said the would-be robber walked in with a gun under his jacket, pointed it his way and said, “You know what this is. You know what I’m doing here. Don’t do anything stupid.”
The store owner calmly took the money from the cash register and placed it on the counter. The man tucked the bills into his pant leg, ordered the attendant to face the opposite direction, and then made his way to his car for the escape.
When the attendant turned and faced the window, he saw the license plate which read, “Miss Pooh.”
Now I have to tell you, we were all about to crack up laughing at this point. Miss Pooh? Really? But it’s not good to laugh when you’re a juror. That never happened in all the times I watched Perry Mason with my grandmother. I did know that much.
The would-be robber took the stand and told his side of the story.
He had been out partying all night, got hungry. Went to the convenience store to buy a muffin. Discovered he didn’t have enough money. He went out to the car to ask his friend if she had any. She did not. He came back into the store to tell the attendant that he was sorry; he didn’t have enough money to buy the muffin. (I thought this was very thoughtful.) When he went back in the store, the attendant opened up the cash register, placed the money on the counter, and said, “Here, take this.” So the would-be-robber made a bad decision and took it. (I bet you’d like to know the name of a store that has such wonderful service!)
By this time, I needed a chin strap to keep my mouth from hanging open in disbelief. Did he expect us to believe that? Besides, we had the shot from surveillance tape plastered on the wall as big as life. It showed the perp with something pointing at the attendant that looked like it could have been a gun. He said his hands were cold and he had them in his pocket. I guess one finger was frozen.)
The trial went on and on. Officers, detectives, and more officers. When I finally quit internally pouting about the terrible timing of my civic duty, I began to pray.
OK Lord, I know that you do love me and for some reason, you want me here. All I can do is watch. You know I need to prepare for the upcoming retreat, but I know that nothing happens by accident. What do you want me to learn?
Then God spoke to my heart, Finally you’re catching on. I have a great lesson for you to learn this week. Pay close attention.
My attitude changed. What had felt like an interruption was transformed into a divine appointment. I had studied and prepared for the retreat. God thought I needed to go on a field trip per se.
As the trial came to an end, the prosecuting attorney approached the jury for her closing arguments. She paced back and forth just like good ole’ Perry Mason, and recapped the facts with a freeze frame of the surveillance film as her back drop.
Then she placed her hand under her jacket as if pointing a gun at each of us. Meeting each of our eyes, she concluded…“You know what this is. You know what we’re doing here. Now, don’t do anything stupid.”
Boy, she was good. Of course, he was guilty, guilty, guilty. Of course, being that I was an alternate, I didn’t even get to cast a vote or even join the discussion. So what was the point of my presence?
This is why you’ve been here this week. This is what I want you to tell those ladies in California. John 10:10 says that Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He wants more than a muffin. He wants more than money. He wants to steal your joy, steal your peace, steal your freedom, steal your future, and steal your spiritual inheritance.
When he attacks, he only has one weapon – lies. He points his gnarly finger at you and shoots out lies. The robber in this case didn’t even have a gun. He just had his finger under his jacket. Satan doesn’t have a real weapon either. He just points and shoots blanks – lies with no merit. When you believe his lies, he robs you.
He empties out your cash drawer – change and all. This is what you tell them. I have blessed them with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies (Ephesians 1:3) and I have given them everything they need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).
But some of them have been robbed. Some have placed their spiritual inheritance on the counter and allowed Satan to take it. Some have believed his lies and fallen victim to his tactics. Go tell them how to defeat the would-be robber and take back what the enemy has stolen from them.
You know what his weapon is? You know what he’s doing here? Don’t do anything stupid.
So that’s what I told them. And that’s what I’m telling you! As you go through your day…your week…your life, don’t let Satan shoot blanks in your direction. Don’t let him cheat you out of the abundant life that Jesus came to give.
You know what he’s (Satan) doing here (John 10:10). Now don’t do anything stupid.
Note to Friend: I had 2 goals in my blog today. Number one: make you laugh. You need to laugh! Number two: Help you see how powerless yet effective Satan can be. If I accomplished one of these two goals, leave me a comment that says so.
Ready to start believing the truth and rejecting the lies? Check out my book, “I’m Not Good Enough”…and Other Lies Woman Tell Themselves and learn how to recognize the lies, reject the lies, and replace the lies with truth. Don’t let the Enemey rob you blind!