They Were Listening
Posted: Monday, June 25
2 Kings 8:1-9:13
Verse of the day:
“Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.” (Acts 16:25)
She begins harassing them and following them around. She’s yelling out the truth but the timing and the heart behind it are all wrong. Day after day the Bible says she follows them around until finally they had enough. Paul turns to her and commands the demon to leave and she is set free. This should be a cause for a celebration but her owners were mad. They stirred up the crowds against them and got the attention of the city officials who ordered Paul and Silas to be stripped and beaten with wooden rods. The Bible says that after they were severely beaten they were thrown into prison with their feet shackled to the ground.
They are bruised and uncomfortable to put it mildly. This is a bad day. Probably too uncomfortable to sleep they begin praying and singing hymns to God. In a moment that it would have been easy to complain or to focus on their own suffering and misery they begin to turn their focus on their creator. “And the other prisoners were listening.”
Let’s just pause their story here for a minute. Like Paul and Silas these prisoners are also having a bad day. Prison is not where they want to be. The conditions were unpleasant and they were likely healing from their own wounds from earlier beatings and facing uncertain futures. In the midst of all the unpleasantness something odd takes place. Instead of moaning and complaining there is singing coming from the inner dungeon that is giving praise to God. What an incredible testimony to those who were listening.
In our darkest moments or even just on our bad days the people around us are watching and listening to see how we are going to handle it. What are we going to do with that moment? Are we going to moan and complain and focus on our suffering (and sometimes just our inconvenience) or are we going to pray, sing and draw strength from our loving God? How we handle these moments can be a huge witnessing tool to those around us. These are the moments that we show in action what we really believe. Giving ourselves permission to “lose it” in these critical moments can do so much damage to our testimony. Someone is always watching and listening.