Maher, Matthew

Matthew Maher.

Time never ceases to renew me. It continues to confound me and to reveal to me God’s sovereignty over it.

You see, as of last week, I have been out of prison for 55 months, which matches the exact amount of time I spent in prison. And not only is that match remarkable, for reasons I will explain in a minute, but another “match” of time recently sparked a new flame in my heart.

March 7 marks 10 years since making a tragic decision that resulted in the death of Hort Kap. His life ended because my life was reckless. I was an unbroken man living on a broken plan.

Ironically, such a tragedy was the exact ingredients that completely crushed me and humbled me. I think about this time and it breaks me all over again, but at the same time, this crushing remakes me all over again. The pain of remembering ignites the passion of redemption.

But back to the 55 months in and out of prison. I see this match of time as God’s mastery over time. You see, it would have been easy to fear the future from the front windshield of 55 months in prison.

However, I can say with full confidence in my confession, that because of God’s Word at work in my heart, I knew that the Lord was preparing me within for the work He prepared for me to do without.

I do not claim to have had any hand in this, because for the last 55 months it has been God’s hand at work in my and Sarah’s lives. We not only have been married for four years and four months, but we are expecting our first child in less than two months. A daughter named, Willow Joy Maher. Willow means “graceful” and, of course, “joy” is the result of knowing God is faithful.

Besides family life, God has clearly blessed my work life.

I should not have been able to make a livelihood so quickly after release. I am a convicted felon and have been on parole for the past 55 months.

Such a label and liability should have prevented me from becoming an employee or at least made people skeptical of hiring me for ministry. But not in God’s economy.

His way of raising up leaders isn’t by way of a worldly resume, but rather by way of spiritual humility. And by that statement, I am not claiming humility, I am reclaiming the godly tool of humiliation.

I am being renewed by the remembrance of my brokenness. I am humbled by how Jesus Christ can take every aspect of a life that by all objective means was out for the count, and yet infused it with His life to make the time count.  

ED. NOTE: Maher is the teaching pastor at Coastal Christian Ocean City and is president of Soldiers For Faith Ministries. Social media and website: @TruthOverTrend