25 Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 All at once there was such a violent earthquake that it shook the prison’s foundations. The doors flew open and everyone’s chains came loose. 27 When the jailer awoke and saw the open doors of the prison, he thought the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword and was about to kill himself. 28 But Paul shouted loudly, “Don’t harm yourself! We’re all here!”
29 The jailer called for some lights, rushed in, and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He led them outside and asked, “Honorable masters, what must I do to be rescued?”
31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your entire household.” 32 They spoke the Lord’s word to him and everyone else in his house. 33 Right then, in the middle of the night, the jailer welcomed them and washed their wounds. He and everyone in his household were immediately baptized. 34 He brought them into his home and gave them a meal. He was overjoyed because he and everyone in his household had come to believe in God.
Our previous dog Misty was always getting trapped between the furniture. She would always go forward and get stuck between the coffee table and sofa where she didn’t have the space to turn around. She couldn’t figure out how to reverse herself by just backing up. I’d hear her crying for help and come and move a chair by the table to set her free. She was very happy when I came in answer to her cries to save her from her her situation. We’ve all had those days when we wish someone would come and save us.
Paul and Silas have been severely beaten, chained and put in the stocks deep in the prison. It is totally dark, yet Paul and Silas are singing hymns and praying, loud enough for the prisoners to listen to them. Physically wounded and discouraged, they call on God to save them from this impossible situation. At their worst moment, they are witnessing to their belief in the power of Jesus Christ. Then comes the earthquake and God breaks their chains and opens the prison. Their jailer, about to kill himself at the worst moment of his life, hears the words: “Don’t kill yourself!” The jailer asks, “What must I do to be rescued?” Paul and Silas share the good news of salvation through Jesus with the jailer and his household. The worst moments in the lives of Paul, Silas, and the jailer were transformed by the power of God’s love through Jesus Christ.
All of us, at certain times in our lives, have felt trapped by a situation, an illness, or a relationship. At the worst times in our lives, we have called out to God to be rescued. You may not get a literal earthquake to rescue you, but God has a way of coming into the midst of your crisis with the holy power to rock your life, transform you, and set you back on the path to freedom – so that you can be a witness of all that God has done for you. Even in the midst of your worst crisis – even death – you will not be overcome, for we have received the grace and love of God through salvation in Jesus Christ.
By Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
In what situation have you found yourself calling out to God for rescue? How can you be a witness to others of all that God has done for you?
Prayer: Gracious God, thank you for hearing my voice when I called out to you during the worst times in my life – and even now. My faith is in you and I know I will not be overcome, but transformed by your love through salvation in Jesus Christ. Amen.