I was walking through the airport after the most anointed conference I've ever been to when I started to worry. "When is the crash? When is the spiritual high over?" I remember in high school or college being so on fire and almost immediately upon departure, I'd feel spiritually attacked and I was struck with this fear as I was walking. I know this time is different because I felt the Lord move SO big and SO permanently, but I just know that satan isn't going to take this sitting down. Then I thought, "Why do we get mad at God when we are in painful situations? Why are we often more mad at God than at satan who is the one heaping this hurt on us?" I know God allows it to happen and we feel so stretched and burdened, but God's actions are always love filled and satan's are hate filled. While satan is trying to force us into a hopeless crippled effect, God is using our pain and healing for a faith filled ripple effect! I want to find comfort in the kingdom purpose of my pain, like Paul and Silas did in prison.
Acts 16:16-40 (NIV)
Paul and Silas in Prison
16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17 She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” 18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.
19 When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. 20 They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar 21 by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.”
22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”
29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.
35 When it was daylight, the magistrates sent their officers to the jailer with the order: “Release those men.” 36 The jailer told Paul, “The magistrates have ordered that you and Silas be released. Now you can leave. Go in peace.”
Out of your frustration can come a miracle. Out of your pain can come salvation. Out of the pain that satan heaps, comes healing and peace. I want to unpack this story further, but I’ll have to chew on it a little longer. For now, I leave you with this thought :).