Wednesday Walk & Talk: Walking With Paul
Our weekly Walk & Talk takes place each Wednesday at the Western Mall from 11:00 am to noon with Pastor Pat and Jana (our Congregational Care Coordinator). Our current topic is Walking With Paul, exploring the book of Acts.
Wednesday, May 16
A Night In Jail
Excerpted from the book Walking With Paul: Six Weeks of Devotions for Body and Spirit from Church Health (Memphis, TN)
After a flogging, Paul and Silas were fastened in chains to the most secure part of the Roman prison. Imagine the physical toll this took, and the deep darkness of the night. On the outside, perhaps Luke and Timothy were keeping watch until morning, when they might attempt to have their friends released, or at least see them. But in the prison, Paul and Silas were praying and singing. In a moment when they had every reason to despair, they did not.
In a moment when they had every reason to surrender to exhaustion of body and spirit, they did not. They prayed and sang - and not just under their breath. They were loud enough that other prisoners were listening. The story that follows is one of the most famous in the book of Acts. An earthquake shook the foundations of the building, doors flew open, and chains came loose. Now the jailer was despairing to the brink of suicide, because he would be held responsible for the prisoners who would undoubtedly escape. Paul called out “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” The man believed the gospel message that night, and his entire household was baptized.
What a contrast between the inner resources of Paul and Silas and how quickly the jailer gave himself over to his fate. In times of well-being it is important to nurture the inner sense of meaning and purpose that will sustain us even in the most difficult times.
Discouragement is a health issue. Lingering illness, a financial setback, a fractured relationship, a challenging child - these things are more cause for discouragement, which can easily progress to anxiety and full blown stress. Is it possible to find hope even in discouragement? Building healthy habits and relationships when times are good strengthens our resiliency for when times are more challenging. With resiliency, it’s possible to see past the dark times to renewed life on the other side.