A very nervous man called 911 and shouted frantically into the telephone: “My wife is pregnant and her contractions are only two minutes apart.”
“Is this her first child?” the dispatcher asked.
“No, ma’am, this is her husband,” he replied.
Childbirth is one of those nerve-racking events in life that can cause otherwise intelligent men to become blithering idiots.
There will be times in all our lives when we’re so nervous we won’t be able to think straight. That’s when we need a friend to come alongside us who can think rationally on our behalf.
That was the case for a jailer in the city of Philipi back in the days when the authorities had ordered the Apostle Paul locked up. That jailer had to be a bright man to run a correctional facility, to manage the books, to supervise the guards, to do all the things required to do the job well.
Then came the day when the Lord brought a crisis into the jailer’s life that sent adrenaline coursing through his body, that scared him half to death.
First, an earthquake jarred him out of bed in the middle of the night. That would be frightening in and of itself. He then rushed in to check on his prisoners and every door was open. He was absolutely beside himself with fear at that point, thinking that all of his prisoners had escaped. It was at that point that he desperately needed a friend.
“He drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.’ Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out, and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ And they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.’ And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his straightway.”
That jailer would have committed suicide if not for the Apostle Paul speaking into his situation at a time when he couldn’t think clearly for himself. Paul was that friend the jailer desperately needed. He calmly offered his insights in the crisis. Yes, the jailer’s world had been shaken, but, no, the situation wasn’t as bad as it first appeared.
Crises come and go in our lives. Often when we look back on what we initially thought were the darkest moments of our lives, we realize they just may have been the brightest. That’s the way it was for the jailer, because his life was transformed in that crisis.
It’s in those dark moments that we can best see the light of Christ. It’s in the dark moments that we should draw close to Him, not push him away.
You can reach Roger Alford at 502-514-6857 or firstname.lastname@example.org.