“Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns . . . Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken . . . . The jailer . . . drew his sword and was about to kill himself . . . Paul shouted, ‘Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!’ The jailer . . . fell trembling before Paul and Silas . . . and asked, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’”-Acts 16:25-30 NIV
A serious earthquake rocked the city of Philippi. It was so strong that the “foundations of the prison were shaken.” People were terrified. The man responsible for the jail was so sure that “the prisoners had escaped” that he decided to kill himself.
Others might have panicked or been driven by fear. But Paul remained sensitive to God’s leading, alert to the opportunity to minister to this man’s need. Clearly God had prepared the jailer’s heart, for his reaction was instantaneous: “What must I do to be saved?” Thanks to Paul’s commitment and sensitivity, the jailer and his family found Jesus.
We all may experience various surprises or unexpected events that interrupt our schedules. Just like the jailer, our first response can be to think about ourselves. But, as Paul learned, these can be glorious opportunities for ministry. This is why we need to stay sensitive to God, always ready, always committed to serve Him, open to His leading.
Remember this in your life. There are people all around you who have needs. Someone may be afraid or discouraged. Others may feel hopeless. Ask God to help you stay sensitive to His leading. Look for opportunities to minister to others. Perhaps to pray with someone or share the Gospel. To meet a financial need, or be a source of encouragement.
Remember, God has blessed you that you might be a blessing to others. Be ready and available for Him to use you.
PrayerFather, help me to be sensitive to people around me and ready to share my faith. Help me see how You can turn problems into victories! Thank You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Extended ReadingActs 16