five minute friday: stay
He was in chains, held in jail for preaching the gospel. He would be martyred there for the sake of Christ. He asked other believers to pray for him. Had he asked me, I would pray “Lord, release him. Give him safety and freedom from this painful circumstance and frightening experience.” Not Paul. In Scripture we see Paul asking for prayer not FROM his circumstances but IN his circumstances.
“The words might be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.” (Ephesians 6:20)
How often am I quick to pray for an out when God wants to do something in my stay? Roller coaster marriage that is falling apart at the seams, Lord get me out of this mess. Prodigal child who seems to be making all the wrong choices, Lord rescue him from his own bad decisions. Difficult job with an unreasonable boss, Lord, get me out of this madness and help me find a new job. Seems whatever comes along in life that feels like too much, too long, to difficult, in my estimation, then I am quick to pray for myself or others to get out of it rather than considering to pray for boldness IN it.
What if it is in the testimony of staying in this marriage that God wants to bring redemption? What if the testimony He is building in that prodigal is for the very purpose of demonstrating HIs kindness and grace to them in the long run? What if that very job is the place He is planning to bring many to salvation?
What if the staying is the very will of God?
We are here for just a vapor of time, so maybe the momentary staying in the seemingly long, difficult situation is really meant for us to be bold in our faith and pray for others to be as well. Maybe the staying will be the place God receives the most glory as He draws us to grow in Him and build testimonies that point others to Him. Right there in the staying.