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I sat anxiously awaiting mail call. It was my only contact with my wife and three young children. It was too far away for them to visit. My name was called out and the mail was slipped through the bars of the prison cell. It was very lonely at times, but God always comforted me - until now.

The letter was from my mom. My mother and father took in my wife and kids when I left for prison. In the letter, my mom writes, "We try not to mention your name around the children because they always ask 'where is my daddy.' Last night Kim climbed up on my bed and said, 'When my daddy gets home I am going to hug him and never let him go.'"

As the tears flowed down my cheeks like an open faucet, I began to repent again of my sins. Because of my actions, my whole family was suffering. A deep sadness fell over me and my heart began to ache. The pain got worse. I prayed and asked God to take away the pain. The pain did not stop. Instead the pain became so excruciating, I thought my heart was going to burst out of my chest. I cried out in a loud voice, "God, please stop it."

The pain abruptly stopped and left a deafening silence within my soul. I heard a quiet still voice say, "My son, you now have a small idea of how I feel toward my children who are separated from me."

The message was burned in my heart even to this day over thirty-five  years later. I never realized that God hurts. I understood anew the verse, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Beloved readers, God is calling you home to Him. Wherever you are as you read this, pause just a moment. Speak from your heart to God. Let Him know you want Him in your heart and life. Confess your sins so that God can remove them from your life. Accept Jesus into your heart. Become a new creation of God's. Old things will pass away. All things will become new.

Excerpt from upcoming book by Pastor Buddy Kemner