Monday, January 14, 2013

Quiet Reflections: Chain Reaction






Quiet Reflections from a Mothers Heart to her Daughters.....


Dear Daughter,


God has really laid on my heart the need to leave you His truths. I tried to live them out but I am afraid the failures of our life have created a blockage for you to see them. This verse motivated me to write these blogs just for you...
 
But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. The Good News has been preached all over the world, and I, Paul, have been appointed as God’s servant to proclaim it. Col 1:23 (NLT)


I want God's truths I found in my relationship with Him to be a chain reaction in your life.
You have seen the TV commericals, heard the stories where one act of kindness causes a chain reaction of kindness, right? A driver let's you in their lane on the busy highway, you allow another driver that close parking space you came upon first, that person holds the door open for an elderly couple, that couple pays the extra money the single mother at the registered is in need of....and the chain reaction continues... 
 




Chain Reactions. They can be positive like I wrote above, they can also go the wrong way. Paul and Silas set a chain reaction that models living a life with a servants attitude, loving other unconditionally (Diakono's Living). Acts 16 reads how these two men were push to the limits but in their reaction of being chained they choose to respond in a way that is not typical. I want you to learn from this reaction and encourage you to incorporate this response into your life when times get tough. I have and it works!



A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks. (verses 22-24)



Paul and Silas were chained to their situation. Their feet were in wooden stocks. They were beat up and in pain. It looked hopeless for them. Death seemed more likely than freedom.

Our bad times can feel like this. Our pain can put us into stocks...chains...and keep us from moving forward with our life. Many people live in chains of alcoholism, depression, abuse, shame, fear, pain. I have lived in chains of unforgiveness and regrets for decisions that have hurt those I love the most. It's debilitating.


Is there something that chains you-, that prevents you from moving on?


People don't have to live chained to these things. You don't have to. I don't have to.


Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!   (verses 25-26) 

Instead of a pity party, Paul and Silas step out in faith and others followed...


The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”....He brought them into his house and set a meal before them, and he and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God (Verses 29-30, 34)


A chain reaction. Once person steps forward, another follows, then another. Love handed out unexpectedly from one person to another and passed on yet to another. One family member believing in God, living that faith, passing it on to another family member and yet another and another...


The other day on the way to work I was in line at the drive through getting my favorite peppermint mocha. When I went to pay the cashier stated the car in front of me had paid for my order. WOW. I have done this before for others but never been the recipient of such an act of kindness. I decided to pay it forward so I paid for the order of the car behind me. A chain reaction was started!


I encourage you to do this when you can...offer an act of kindness to someone. It doesn't have to involve money, an considerate action or a thoughtful word can cause the same kind of reaction.
 
And when the going gets tough, turn your reaction into praise and worship for how God is going to use that situation for something better in your life. I want to be that person, like Paul and Silas, who steps out and does the unpredictable and openly praises and worships the One who is above anything that chains me.


God places the lonely in families; He sets the prisoners free and gives them joy. But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land ~ Ps 68:6 (NLT)
 


Praise and worship, as displayed by Paul in Silas, is a key act for breaking those unwanted chains. Coupled with acts of servanthood-doing for others, a positive chain reaction can happen from person-to-person, generation-to-generation.


Love out Loud girls. And when life hands you some tough times, give them back to God by praising Him instead of crying in your pain. And I am always here to walk with you in the good times and the bad times.



I love you.

Mom






1 comment:

Sweetly Broken Girl said...

Hi Pamela, I just found your blog and I love your writing. I read the post on "sweetly broken" and the latest ones from a mother's heart and chain reactions. I look forward to being encouraged by your older posts, too.
Speaking of chain reactions, I have been passing on a blogspot address where I wrote about my journey to being a sweetly broken child of God. It is my hope and prayer that it can help others draw closer to HIs love and healing and Truth. I would like to share it with you (and anyone else). It's at sweetlybrokengirl.blogspot.com. Feel free to look it up if you'd like. And thank you for your beautiful, eloquent writing. I will be back to read more. Take care and God bless. - Heather K