Pastor Samuel preaching on the square in Tyler TX.
And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
I’m going to share a story that’s not mine, but it’s too good not to repeat. We had a visiting evangelist this past Sunday, Luke Sasser, and he told the story of a preacher friend of his. The preacher was driving down the road and was pulled over by a highway patrolman. The officer asked him to please exit the automobile. The preacher confusingly asked why. The officer said he would explain when he exits the car.
As soon as the preacher gets out, the officer turns him and cuffs him explaining their is a warrant for his arrest. The preacher, shocked, questions the officer, but no answers are given.
A few hours after being arrested, booked, and put into a cell, the preacher finds out there was indeed a warrant out for his arrest for failure to pay a seat belt ticket that he completely forgot about. The preacher was sentenced to three days in jail.
Later that evening, in his cell, with his many cell mates, the preacher lay on his bunk feeling sorry for his predicament and thought, “This must be how Paul and Silas felt.”
The Lord quickly impressed upon the preacher, “If you were like Paul and Silas, you would be worshiping me instead of sulking in this bunk.”
Wow! The preacher was pricked at the heart, got out of his bunk, asked around for a Bible, and started a devotion with the other inmates. Before the preacher was released from the jail cell, three men gave their lives to the Lord.
This story touched me. We are so quick to fall into “woe is me” mode that we miss the opportunity to minister where we are. Everyday presents a new challenge. Everyday we must choose to worship God rather than blame God. If we choose worship, the windows of heaven will open and pour blessings upon our lives and the lives of others. Sometimes the windows of heaven may look like a jail cell. God’s ways don’t always look like our ways. We must trust Him in all things.