My value-based affirmation word is freedom. I discovered this on a walk and talk with God. How to live in freedom when you have no control. In day 3, week 3 of my Bible study, I read a very familiar passage about Paul and Silas. Acts 16:16 – 34 is the story of them being accused, stripped, beaten, and thrown into jail with feet shackled. Around midnight, they began to sing and worship! What happens next? An earthquake loosened their chains and the prison door opened! Despite their chance to break free, they stayed. Because of their witness, other’s believed.
“What I love about their story is that they didn’t need to see lovely in their circumstances. They knew they could find lovely in their God.” (pg. 57)
How many times have I looked for lovely so I could praise Him? How many times do we question our faith because things are not so lovely? Reading familiar passages takes on new meaning. I know you’ve been there. You’ve read the same thing a million times, but all of a sudden, because of what you are going through, it’s like ZING! or AHA!
I would be very hard pressed to sing at midnight after a long day of shame, harm, and imprisonment. I mean, one horrible email or offense can send all of us to oblivion! Remember this was a first-century prison. I’m not frustrated with myself, but just gaining perspective. Anna, if you want real freedom, you need to worship even if what you are looking at isn’t lovely in the moment.
“Looking at Jesus, worshiping Him, puts your eyes on His ability instead of on the cell around you or the chains on your feet, and sometimes when you’re persevering through the suffering, letting it build your character and bring hope, worship is also the key that unlocks your cell door.” (pg. 57)
This is amazing grace. My freedom will be found in concrete, practical steps. Yes, God wants us to use our common sense and know-how to heal, to be resilient, and to move forward! Equally important for me in my search for freedom is worship!
Amazing Grace, Anna, Valentina, Victoria