Turn off your cell phone, TV, or radio. Listen to the silence that is around you. Listen for God to speak to you.
Acts 16:36-41 (NRSV)
And the jailer reported the message to Paul, saying, “The magistrates sent word to let you go; therefore come out now and go in peace.” But Paul replied, “They have beaten us in public, uncondemned, men who are Roman citizens, and have thrown us into prison; and now are they going to discharge us in secret? Certainly not! Let them come and take us out themselves.” The police reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Roman citizens; so they came and apologized to them. And they took them out and asked them to leave the city. After leaving the prison they went to Lydia’s home; and when they had seen and encouraged the brothers and sisters there, they departed.
When I read the stories of the early apostles of Jesus, I am always amazed at their dedication in the face of extreme adversity. These women and men seem not to be bothered by threats of imprisonment or death. Maybe it was because they were somehow prepared?
Studies show that people who have regular check-ups with a doctor, even when they are well, live longer. They are healthier because diseases are caught and contained more quickly than in those people who do not have regular check-ups. Yet, I still have a habit of only going to the doctor when things are bad. Going to God is sometimes a similar situation, which is why it is important for us intentionally to take time every day to pray, study, and listen. God wants to hear our prayers of concern, but it is just as important to give thanks and to acknowledge the source of our blessings.
Jesus never promised that following him would provide us with a trouble-free life. However, when we spend time with God, even during the good times, we will be exactly where we need to be when the tough times hit.
God, give us the commitment and dedication to seek you every day. Amen.
Go with God.