Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday of the Sixth Week of Easter

Good News Reflection
Tuesday of the Sixth Week of Easter
May 19, 2009

Today's Saint: Dunstan

Today's Readings:
Acts 16:22-34
Ps 138:1-3, 7c-8
John 16:5-11

The saving hand of God

Psalm 138:7 declares that "Your right hand saves me, O Lord." In biblical symbolism, the "right hand" of God means the power of God reaching out to help us. In Acts 16:22-34, we see how this helping hand of God works in unexpected ways.

God does not do everything that we want him to, when we want him to do it, the way we want him to do it. For Paul and Silas, God's powerful hand did not pop open the prison doors just because they asked for help. More was at stake than the lives of these two men. Notice the others who were touched by God's intervention.

God is always mindful of the bigger picture and the bigger purposes that can be accomplished in all situations. He cares about the needs and the souls of all those who are involved in our trials as much he cares about us. The question is, are we willing to wait for his help when others are slowing the process?

Paul and Silas cooperated with God's plan by remaining focused on Jesus through prayer and joyful hymns. They could have allowed themselves to be distracted by the terrible conditions of their imprisonment and the disaster that had stopped their ministry and might stop their lives. They could have been resentful and angry toward those who had put them there. They could have been lamenting that it was all so unfair.

Like we so often do.

However, they chose to trust God no matter what had happened or would happen. They believed that, since he was more powerful than the forces that had put them into prison, their current troubles had become part of a plan that would somehow benefit his kingdom. And because they wanted nothing more than to BE a benefit to his kingdom, they closed their eyes to the evidence of evil and opened their eyes to the presence of God.

We can do this!

Only when we're open to and focused on the presence of God are we able to know what to do next when the saving power of God manifests itself. If we had been in Paul's and Silas' sandals, would we have run out of the prison as soon as the doors popped open? In Acts 12, Peter was in a similar situation, and God (through an angel) had him do just that. But not this time. Through the predicament of Paul and Silas, God stretched his hand out to the jailer and his family. Because Paul and Silas were sensitive to his will, they cooperated with his saving hand and became the instruments he played to bring others to salvation.

How awesome to allow God to turn our problems into a plan that helps others!]

© 2009 by Terry A. Modica; All Rights Reserved.
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