...I had the benefit of being prostrate on the floor with a friend this year, weeping and entreating God for our children, when she took me to Acts 16 and had me read verses 25-26 out loud. She quizzed me about what the passage was saying, and like a good student, I said, "Yes, I know. I'm stuck and I need to practice praising God." But then she pointed out something I had never seen before. Paul and Silas's discipline of praying and praising not only broke their own chains, but it also broke the chains of every other inmate in the prison.
This has been a profound truth for me to meditate on. When I give myself to acknowledging the mighty sovereign God of the universe in the midst of my great struggles and heartaches, I not only begin a process of release for my own heavy heart, but I also influence others who are in chains to lift their eyes heavenward, setting them free, as well. ~ Karen Beck, Bible teacher, mentor
"But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were unfastened" (Acts 16:25-26).
The key as I see it is we need to choose to act in faith even when we don't feel God's power in our situation. Remember, it is a fragrant aroma to our King like none other when we praise Him in the middle of unanswered prayer and unthinkable heartache. Is it easy? No. Choosing gratefulness is hard.
THE SUPREME CHALLENGE TO ANYONE FACING CATASTROPHIC LOSS INVOLVES FACING THE DARKNESS OF THE LOSS ON THE ONE HAND, AND LEARNING TO LIVE WITH RENEWED VITALITY AND GRATITUDE ON THE OTHER...lOSS CAN DIMINISH US, BUT IT CAN ALSO EXPAND US...LOSS CAN FUNCTION AS A CATALYST TO TRANSFORM US. ~ JERRY SITTSER