I had grand plans last week. I was going to take a few days off from posting on my blog to spend some more time in the Word and in prayer…diving deep into His presence. (Read about diving deep here.) But what REALLY happened was – I woke up Monday morning sick. And I was sick for days and days. I mean sick…no strength, go to the doctor, on mega medicine sick. That is not how I pictured my week going at all. So what do we do when things go terribly wrong?
I had grand plans last week. I was going to take a few days off from posting on my blog to spend some more time in the Word and in prayer…diving deep into His presence. (Read about diving deep here.) But what REALLY happened was – I woke up Monday morning sick. And I was sick for days and days. I mean sick…no strength, go to the doctor, on mega medicine sick. That is not how I pictured my week going at all.
That night Paul had a vision: A man from Macedonia in northern Greece was standing there, pleading with him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” So we decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that God was calling us to preach the Good News there. (Acts 16:9-10)
Paul and company had tried to go to a couple different cities to preach, but Holy Spirit wouldn’t let them go. Then he had this vision. Certainly this was where God was leading, so they went to Macedonia! And thousands turned to Christ and they had a long and fruitful and easy ministry there. Right? Nothing could be farther from the truth.
A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks. (Acts 16:22-24)
Wow! Didn’t really see that one coming! If that were us, we would probably say, “Whoa! What’s happening here? This can’t be right! God said go!” We might take that as a sign that we missed God or weren’t doing the right thing. But is that what Paul and Silas did?
Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! (Acts 16:25-26)
“Around midnight Paul and Silas were worrying about what to do.” Is that what they did? “Around midnight Paul and Silas were questioning God and feeling sorry for themselves.” That’s not what they did either. Nor did they complain to their cell mates.
“Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God.” And the power of God showed up and delivered them. And the jailer and his whole family came to know Jesus and the power of God. And….
We need to get in the habit of looking up when things don’t go the way we think they should or turn terribly wrong….especially if they turn terribly wrong!
I doubt Paul would have asked to be beaten and thrown in jail. But prison couldn’t hold him, and he got to experience a mighty display of the power of God. God walked him through it.
I didn’t want to be sick during the time I set aside to dive deeper into God. But…I was also able to catch a prayer conference via Livestream I probably would have missed otherwise, which was quite refreshing, and I did have some extra time to dig into the Word. I would rather not have been sick – but I decided to look up and I still got refreshed!
I love this magnet we have on our fridge…it’s such an excellent reminder:
We can’t be in control of everything that happens. So what if things don’t go the way we thought they should. That doesn’t mean it’s the end. That just means it’s time to look up and watch for a display of the power of God in our situations. We can trust that no matter what, He will walk us through to victory! Don’t stop until you are through the junk! He is faithful!
We went through fire and flood,
but you brought us to a place of great abundance. (Psalm 66:12)