Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday Musings-Rewind "Prisoner's Chains"

Belinda Kersey 8/27/07

God’s Word

Acts 16:25-26 “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 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.”

My Thoughts

Have you ever sung in your pain? I have. Sometimes singing in my pain is all that gets me through the pain. The first time I was in rehab was painful mentally and physically. It affected me mentally because they were teaching me how to live in a wheelchair and physically because MS had so imprisoned my body that it was painful to try to regain any amount of movement that I had lost. I had Jeff bring me a CD player and some of my favorite music; between naps and the therapy sessions I would sit in my room and sing to the Lord.

Paul and Silas sang in their pain and Selah sings about them in, “I Bless Your Name”. It says “In prisoners' chains with bleeding stripes Paul and Silas prayed that night and in their pain began to sing.” Now if Paul and Silas acted like a lot of us today, they could have been sitting in that cell griping. All they had done was cast a demon out of a slave girl but now she was no longer going to earn fat wads of cash for her owners as a fortune-teller. Verse 19 of the chapter says “When the owners of the slave girl realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities.” Then, without so much as a trial, “they were severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.” So, they had every right to be whining about their injuries, their unjust treatment and the painful position they were in. I know you’ve never done this, but I can even imagine other people complaining to God. “Lord, this is how you repay us for setting a girl free from demonic power? This is how you treat your loyal servants? What happened to the “beautiful feet of those who bring good news”? Our feet don’t look so beautiful in these stocks!”

That’s why I believe God has a special place in his heart for those of us who sing through our pain. He knows what we could sound like instead! Even if our song of praise is tentative or slightly off-key, it still sounds beautiful to Him. And just the act of singing His praise moves our mind from the situation and on to Him. There are times our songs can bring the miraculous. As the song says “Their chains were loosed and they were free”. Can you imagine their shock and awe? Or just maybe they were not shocked. When your faith is in a God who is all-powerful, how can you be shocked when he answers your cry? When you trust in the one true God, you can sing “I bless Your Name, I bless Your Name, I give You honor, give You praise. You are the Life, the Truth, the Way. I bless Your Name I bless Your Name .”

One scripture I find compelling says “and the other prisoners were listening to them”. I found that to be true in my own situation. I did not care who heard me as I sang to God in that hospital room. Some heard and were blessed and moved to ask about my peace. Our songs to God will serve as praise to Him, peace to our souls and a path to Him for others. So “some midnight hour if you should find you're in a prison in your mind. Reach out and praise, defy those chains, and they will fall in Jesus' name!”

Your Response

The scripture doesn’t tell us what words Paul and Silas sang. It simply says they were singing hymns to God. I am sure they sang the ones that were most precious to them and most ingrained in their hearts. Begin now to sing your favorite hymn or worship song to the God who frees us. Even if “Jesus Loves Me” is all you can think of, then sing it for all you’re worth.

No comments:

Post a Comment