Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.Acts chapter 16, verse 25; from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Where do you sing? Maybe in the shower? If it’s the shower, then remember that singing leads to dancing, and you might fall in the shower. Then the paramedics will see you naked! Don’t sing in the shower! But seriously, not WHEN do you sing, but WHERE do you sing? Music and singing are necessary for a healthy mind and soul. I mean, look at WHERE Paul and Silas are singing! They are in a dungeon. Not a jail cell. It’s a dungeon. And why are they there? For doing the right thing!
Perhaps this saga describes your life. You are in a dungeon. Maybe you did what was right and you were thrown into that dungeon with mighty force. Or maybe you did what wasn’t right (it’s called SIN!). Maybe it’s the diagnosis of cancer–for you or a family member. Maybe it’s dementia. Or perhaps divorce. The utilities are about to be shut off because you don’t have the money to pay the bill. Or if you are a United Methodist, it’s dealing with the chaos. For whatever reason, you feel like you are in that dungeon; complete with chains and shackles. So, what can you do?
Well, you can moan, whine, and complain. You can moan that you don’t deserve being in the dungeon. And maybe that’s true. You can whine and make yourself into the victim; and throw the biggest pity party ever seen. Or you can complain about those responsible for throwing you into that dungeon. Oh, yes! Complaing about others does seem to be the popular option; but complaining about others leads to hate–and how is that helping us in that dungeon? But there’s another option available.
This option is only for those who trust God implicitly and completely! Do what Paul and Silas did–pray and SING! Some of us are good at the praying part–asking God to get us out of that jam. But don’t overlook what else they did: They Were Singing! Not the blues, but praises to their Savior! And look what happened! NO! Not the part about their chains falling off. That first part–and the other prisoners were listening! It’s not natural to be singing in the dungeon–but It Should Be Normal! Dungeons are dark and stinky places. It’s just not natural to sing in dark and stinking places. But for the followers of Jesus–it’s the normal thing to do!
Sing like no one is listening! But they are! The hosts of Heaven’s Armies are listening. Our Triune God is listening. And even if those chains and shackles do not fall off and the door swings wide open–others in the dungeon ARE LISTENING! So sing, my friends. And don’t worry, you won’t slip and fall thus causing the paramedics to see you naked! And who knows, this may be that powerful testimony someone needs to hear so that they can take their leap of faith–and land in The Father’s arms!