Written by Shiyrah Williams, KidzWorld Assistant.
The blessing that has defined my life has been that God has allowed me to lead others in worshiping Him. From a young age, I knew that I wanted nothing more than to spend my life in worship. In fact, my name literally means ‘song unto God.’ (thanks Mom and Dad!) Worship is something that resonates so deeply within me that, when asked to write a blog post, I couldn’t wait to share with you one of my favorite events from the Bible in Acts 16.
Paul and Silas were traveling, preaching the hope found in Jesus. They spoke and acted boldly for Christ and ultimately people with evil intentions rallied a mob to beat and imprison them. The day likely began as any other but by the end of it, Paul & Silas found themselves held deep inside a prison: feet shackled, bodies beaten, and under armed guard.
It seemed like a hopeless situation. The people to which they ministered had turned on them. They tried to present love and were met with overwhelming hate. I think we all know what it’s like to face a hopeless situation. Maybe you aren’t imprisoned for spreading the gospel, but you might be facing a separation in your family. Ties that you once counted on have come untied, leaving you betrayed and alone. Or perhaps you stand in the cold shadow of a mountain of debt and try as you might to climb it, you already feel defeated. Hopeless situations come in all forms – job stresses, failing health, disparaging relationships, etc. – but they all have one common meeting point. We come to the end of ourselves. The odds are stacked against us. The obstacle is too tall or wide or deep or painful. There is no possible way that it can be overcome. It simply can’t be done. It. Is. Impossible.
It doesn’t take long for us to come to the end of ourselves – the end of our capabilities, resources, ideas, talents, time, etc. Life’s demands or expectations drain us and we feel trapped deep within our own prison, shackled and unable to break free of our restraints. We’ve all been there. Maybe you are there now. This is where we can take a lesson from Paul and Silas. It was there, deep within the gloom of that prison–heavy chains cutting into their weary ankles, clothes torn and shredded from the beating, their backs bleeding from the cuts left by the whips–it was there that they worshiped!
The Bible tells us that around midnight as Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, suddenly there was a powerful earthquake. It shook the prison from top to bottom. The prison doors flew open and everyone’s chains came loose. The story doesn’t end there and I encourage you to look it up for yourself, but what I love about this story is that in the midst of their hopelessness, they worshiped. They cried out and invited God into their situation. They kept their eyes fixed on Him. They knew, on their own, there was no getting out of such a horrific circumstance. But their circumstance did not limit God. Their circumstance didn’t change who God is. Instead they looked at their circumstance as a reason to worship. You wouldn’t think that they would have had anything to sing about, but they did. They thanked God for who He is, for His love, and for His astounding ability to redeem all things. They worshiped. And because they worshiped, God showed up in a way that changed lives–entire households even,–forever!
Every weekend we remind your children that they can trust God no matter what. And by giving them experiences and tools to connect directly with God, they learn that they can call out to their Savior through prayer and through worship. They can rely on Him in all circumstances, even hopeless ones. They too can worship.
“Three times I begged the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.’ So I am very happy to brag about how weak I am. Then Christ’s power can rest on me. Because of how I suffered for Christ, I’m glad that I am weak. I’m glad in hard times. I am glad when people say mean things about me. I am glad when things are difficult. & I am glad when people make me suffer. When I am weak, I am strong.” 2 Cor. 12:8