Love: “Is not easily angered” (NIV), “does not fly off the handle” (Message); “Is not irritable” (NLT)
I noticed something this morning. Every time my tea kettle reaches the boiling point, it shrieks – loudly. Kind of like some (okay, most) of us. Yet, if I don’t want to wake the household, all I have to do is flip the lid before it gets to the boiling point, and the shriek won’t happen.
Have you ever been to the point of overload, and one of your kids, husband, friend…someone heaps on “one more thing”? The shriek that erupts is not unlike my tea kettle. How can we keep from loosing it? After all, this is our natural response, that seems to happen even before we choose it. We have to find a way to lift the lid.
Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown in prison in Acts 16. They were treated brutally, and thrown in a dank, awful place full of moaning people. Then, an earthquake happened, and all their chains fell away and the doors of the prison were opened. Their natural response would have been to run, to be released from the prison – kind of like our shriek can be a release from the pressure we feel.
Instead, Paul and Silas remained still. As a result, the jailer and his whole family came to Christ. Paul and Silas were exonerated the next day. If they had fled in the night, they could have been hunted down for escaping. Their calm response to pressure resulted in freedom for themselves (physically) as well as an entire family (spiritually).
How did Paul and Silas stay calm under pressure? Vs. 25 says that they were “praying and singing hymns to God.”
It isn’t easy to keep calm when the pressure rises, but we can lift the lid on our boiler if we begin with a different perspective. Philippians 4:8 says: “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” We open our lid, so to speak, when we sing praises throughout our day. As the pressure rises, we choose to focus our mind on the possible, for we serve a God who is Able, and no matter our circumstances, He won’t leave us. He will help us walk through it all with His peace in our hearts.
Pray: Lord, please put a song in my heart today. Plant Your joy deep in my soul so that no matter what I am going through, I will be able to walk in Your grace, wisdom and peace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.