25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was an earthquake, so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. 27 When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, since he supposed that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted in a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” – Acts 16: 25-29 (NRSV)
Paul and Silas had been beaten severely and jailed. In the midst of this suffering situation, the sing hymns to God. Then, when the earthquake hits, they could have escaped, they could have run for the hills or fled to another town. What do they do? The stay and minister to the warden.
What a beautiful example of lives transformed by God’s love, mercy and grace shown to us in Jesus. They don’t do what most people would do or want to do. The don’t run and they don’t seek revenge. They show mercy and love.
I want to be like that today. Merciful. After all the love that God has shown us, it’s the least we can do for others.
Here’s the challenge today for you and me. Who do you resent? Who would you like to get revenge on? How can you show them mercy and love, just as God has done for you?
This is almost a foreign concept, and it’s definitely counter-cultural, but it is the “still more excellent way” that Paul speaks of in 1 Corinthians 12:31 and that way of life that Jesus, Paul, Silas, and the saints of then and now model for us to immitate.
Prayer: Lord, you have been unfathomably merciful to me. Teach me, lead me, to be merciful to others. Amen.