From Acts 16
25About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God as the prisoners listened, 26there was suddenly such a severe earthquake that the foundations of the jail shook; all the doors flew open, and the chains of all were pulled loose. 27
Now, we are not in a prison, but what we are in, Bob and I and quite a few more of you folks too—is the AGING PROCESS. I referred to it once as “Purgatory on Earth.”
As we age, we find ourselves dealing with increasing “hidden Stigmatas” or all the aches, pains deteriorating body 'pieces parts' and weakness that I KNOW Jesus endured in His Passion and Crucifixion. Seems like new ones pop up each day!
Tonight, in the stillness, drawing away to just talk with my Lord, just asking for help—I am led to open to Chapter 16 of Acts. It is the story of Paul and Silas undergoing trials and tribulations as they serve the Lord.
In Sirach, Chapter 2, we are told we can expect the same too when we take up our walk with Him.
Trust in God
1My child, when you come to serve the Lord,* prepare yourself for trials.
2Be sincere of heart and steadfast, and do not be impetuous in time of adversity.
3Cling to Him, do not leave Him that you may prosper in your last days.
4Accept whatever happens to you; in periods of humiliation be patient.
5For in fire gold is tested, and the chosen, in the crucible of humiliation.
6Trust in God, and He will help you; make your ways straight and hope in Him.
From the above reading, the good news here is that we are GOLD and CHOSEN even if we are ‘older’!!
The greatest lesson we can learn from Paul and Silas story however is not the part about the earthquake and the gates opening for them—but what happened BEFORE! They were PRAYING AND SINGING HYMNS!! Now I do not know about you, but no matter how bad I feel---put some good toe tapping, foot stomping, hand clapping Praise Music on, or even the good ole fashioned dance music on and I am elevated unto “Happy Again!”
The Reminder that was sent my way tonight from ACTS was, "honey---get it on with prayer and PRAISE and make that joyful noise unto the Lord. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving in your heart and His Courts with Praise."
One last “Word” from God on this subject—From James Chapter 1-
2 “Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, 3for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
Word of Caution too, from Moses and the Israelites story—whine and complain and rebell—and you may never reach that Promise Land! Careful out there about singing that litany of complaints and whatever ails you.
Smile Ya’ll and let your little Light Shine all over the neighborhood until Jesus pops in, smiling because you are dancing in His rain, or in your pain.