‘Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose.” Acts 16.26
Paul and Silas were in prison worshipping God and presumably enjoying fellowship with him when there was an almighty earthquake. The doors to the prison flew open and the prisoners’ chains fell from their bodies.
Put yourself in that situation. Imagine feeling that you had been unfairly imprisoned and something suddenly happened that caused the doors to open and your chains to come loose. What would you do? I imagine that most of us would praise God for his deliverance and run, but not Paul and Silas! What they never seemed to forget was that their relationship with God took precedence over their physical circumstances.
In their difficult situation we find them connecting with God, whom they trusted. When the situation changed dramatically, they made no assumptions about what God was doing, but stayed connected to him. Presumably they felt his restraining hand encouraging them to stay where they were. It is a sad fact that many people are closer to God in times of desperation, but when the situation changes they are not so quick to pray and seek the God who loves them. Whether life is good or bad, whether you are in a time of seeming captivity or freedom, come back to your Father who longs for fellowship with you, whatever you might be feeling.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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