When life gives you lemons you make lemonade, right? That is unless you are Paul and Silas. When life gave them lemons that prayed and sang hymns to God. I wonder what would happen if when life gave us lemons we would have the same response as Paul and Silas. Let’s look back at Acts 16:25-26.
“But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.”
So, they were in prison, and yet midnight they were praying and singing hymns. One thing on this, midnight is when most people sleep, but they were awake and spending time praying and praising. I know that for me, when I am in the midst of a trial or a hard time I am not typically up at midnight. Maybe in the future I should spend more time praying and praising and less time sleeping. Cause the crazy part happens after this. As they are praying and praising all the doors of the prison are opened and the chains come off. Say what? Yep the grounds shakes and all the doors are opened up and the chains come off. I read this and think maybe I need to really spend more time praying and praising God in the midst of the trial. What about you? Does this make you think?
So you think the story ends there right? Well the poor jailer guy sees all this and thinks he is going to be killed because all the prisoners escaped so he draws his sword to kill himself when Paul calls and and tells him that they are still there. The jailers response is so perfect that I am just going to pull it straight from scripture here
“The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.” And they shared the word of the Lord with him and with all who lived in his household. Even at that hour of the night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds. Then he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized. He brought them into his house and set a meal before them, and he and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God.” (Acts 16:31-34)
Hold on, wait a minute! Not only did God break them out of jail, but God used this opportunity to show Himself to the jailer who immediately got saved, and his whole household also got saved and everyone was baptized! Now, that is pretty amazing if you ask me. But God was not done yet.
So the next morning, the city officials sent the police to the jailer to tell him to let these guys go, and he tells Paul and Silas and Paul calls them out. He says “They have publicly beaten us without a trial and put us in prison—and we are Roman citizens. So now they want us to leave secretly? Certainly not! Let them come themselves to release us!” (16:37). So then when this gets back to the city officials, they come and apologize, bring them out of the prison and begged them to leave the city. So not only did God do all the AMAZING stuff with the jailer and his family, but the officials came and apologized.
I love reading the Bible because when I do I find that I am encouraged to grow and trust God more. How much faith Paul and Silas must have had to be praying and praising in the midnight hour and to have the boldness to call out the officials when they tried to have them leave secretly. Not only did God free them, he saved an entire household, he had the wounds taken care of and they got an apology. I wonder what the impact from the jailer and his household would be. I mean think about it if this happened in your life and you had Paul and Silas in your prison and God broke them out and you saw all this wouldn’t you be telling all your friends? Wouldn’t you be like, let me tell you what just happened over here? We don’t see what happens as a result of this story but I can imagine that the jailer was never the same, and he probably spoke of this story often.
So when life gives you lemons what are you doing? Is there something you need to change? I know that I am going to be working to be praying and praising when life gives me lemons. If there is supposed to be some lemonade then I am going to trust God to make the lemonade.