About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. (Acts 16:25)
When we find ourselves in the midst of trials, it becomes easy to focus on ourselves. And for good reason.
Life, as we know it, has changed. The anxiety surrounding that moment builds as we feel a loss of control.
- unexpected illness
- death of a loved one
- car repair
- job loss
- lack of improvement in chronic illness
- broken/strained relationship
- consequences of fighting for justice
- financial stress
The rhythm was altered without our knowledge. The implications may involve physical/emotional hardship.
The discomfort is unsettling. We seek restoration. But as we seek it, we may develop “tunnel vision.” We look for God’s redemption within the scope of our own lives.
Yet, God’s movement in our trials speaks to those outside our scope as well.
Paul and Silas were no strangers to trials. Because of their passion for bringing Jesus’ message to a secular society, persecution was a regular experience for them. But when God acted to deliver them, others took notice.
Others witnessed them calling out to God through song as they lay in pain from their beating. Their response was counter cultural. But “the other prisoners were listening to them.”
As if that wasn’t enough, God’s power came through with a mighty force and blew open the prison doors and loosened the chains! As a result of this experience, the jailer’s eyes were opened. He recognized God’s hand in Paul and Silas’ moment of trial and sought to be baptized.
Our trials aren’t just about us
Throughout scripture, God is about drawing others to Himself. Whether it be directly (public manifestation) or indirectly (testimony). Our trials are one venue through which that happens.
How are others seeing God’s hand at work in your trial?
No part of our lives is outside your view. We are reminded of your power to break through those situations which come our way and cause distress. Please hear our cries as you have heard the pleas of those who have come before us. We seek deliverance from the hardships we are experiencing (name them). As you restore us, may others see you at work. Amen