The Lock-Down—A Christian’s guide in Confined CircumstancesDay 1.
Jail is a miserable place. It is the antithesis of freedom. For most Christians being arrested, beaten and confined in a cell with their feet in stocks would be a sure sign from God that their missionary days were well and truly ended. By the time that Paul and Silas had arrived in Philippi (Acts 16), they had accepted that all of this kind of thing was merely ‘grist-for-the-mill’ for the preacher of the gospel. There they sat, literally locked down in jail, dirty and wounded. To them, this was not a cruel, but necessary, test of faith. Not an important lesson to be learned and tucked away for some future time. God’s glory was their mission, saving souls their job, singing, praying and preaching Christ their tools at hand, and a stinking jail cell their present workplace.
My guess is that the Philippian jailer went to sleep to the sound of Paul and Silas’ singing and praying that night. He would have questioned their sanity, for sure. But all doubts would have immediately dissipated when God made that prison shake to its core. He woke to three realities: 1. Jailers are executed if prisoners escape, 2. by still being there, these preachers were saving his physical life from certain death, and 3. they were still there because they cared more about his soul than their own freedom. No wonder he asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…” – and immediately he was baptized. Praise God! It goes without saying that being confined to our homes for the next 28 days is luxury compared to that jail cell. Also, opportunities are still everywhere. Seeking God’s glory by using the tools available to us to preach the gospel might take some effort to get our heads around, but it can be done. I pray God’s richest blessings upon you over this time. (firstname.lastname@example.org)