Morning Breakfast With the Word May 19 2020
The first reading of today made so much impression on me that I decided to reflect on it unlike I normally do. Praising God in difficult situations is one of the hardest things we normally do. It is always easy to praise and thank God when good things happen. In these moments, we celebrate, do thanksgiving, shouting the name of God. What of when bad things happen? When you are suffering? When everything refuses to turn around? What do we do? We complain, blame Christianity, nag God, lose faith and become bitter, some will go to the extent of committing suicide, some abandon God to look for quick power and success.
*The First Set*
In the first set of today’s readings, we saw how the crowd joined in beating and attacking Paul. Not just that only, they were stripped naked, beaten with rod. Not only this again, they were inflicted with uncountable blows. Who knows how bruised their mouth would be and the wounds on their bodies. Imagine the pains. Not just this again, despite the pains and bruises, they were thrown into prison, with no hospital or medical care. What a suffering. Not just this, they were put in the innermost cell, chained hands and feet. These apostles have the right to complain to God and blame. Remember that Jesus promised to be with them, why allowing them to suffer like this? He would have sent fire to consume their enemies. When as a servant of God, keeping His Words and we enter such difficulty, wow many will even curse the day they were born, curse Jesus and brand Christianity as a scam. Now see what happened.
Just like Shedrach, Mishach and Abednego who refused to complain nor blame God even in the fire, Paul and Silas who knew the power of midnight praises, took the moment to dance and sing praises to God. Their attention was not on the circumstance, suffering nor bruises their attention was on God. They sang from their hearts. They refused to become bitter, blame God about their condition and complain, rather they were praising God. Imagine if we are these apostles. They taught us a lesson today. This is the type of faith that can bring down the power of the Most High. Guess what happened next?
Because of the magnitude of their faith in the midst of difficulties, God responded with a mighty earthquake shaking the foundations of the jail and opened every closed doors of the building, destroying the chains all of over them. Imagine you praying and earthquake begins to happen, my brother, everybody will be on the run, they will say oh the enemy has come again. Sometimes when God is shaking foundations, He is doing that not against you but for you. Please stand firm and never lose hope. Praise God in difficult situations too. In Daniel 3, God responded in the fire. There is power in praises and there is more power when it is done in the midst of no hope situations and when it is done in the midst of hard moments. This type of faith can open any closed doors and break chains like today, this type of faith does things above our understanding. It can calm every fire like in Daniel 3. It can give you victory like in 2nd Chronicles 20. But the question is, can we? The only time we remember to say thank you is only in good moments. What of when things go wrong? The power of God becomes more present in the midst of difficulties.
May God bless you dearest as we focus our attention on Him than on our problems. Just like Paul and Silas, may He open every closed doors in your life. Amen
Fr Sanctus Mario