Talk about an alarm clock
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!
The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself. But Paul shouted to him, “Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!” — Acts 16: 26-28, NLT
“I set my alarm clock on the other side of my bedroom,” a college friend shared. “That way I have to get out of bed to turn it off.”
My friend is not alone. Even if the alarm is not an actual clock but an alarm set on the cell phone, others have done similar practices. It can be a challenge to wake up.
But not here. A massive earthquake would wake the deepest sleeper.
There is more. The chains of every prisoner are off, and let’s not forget why he has his sword in hand.
The alarm that woke the guard was a massive earthquake, not a clock on the other side of the bedroom. But like the guard, God is moving us from one place to another. As the guard abruptly moves from what could have been a deep sleep to a whole new world that at first appears troubling, we, too, are called to move.
God is calling us to take chains off prisoners, rescue the oppressed, secure the lost and feed those who are hungry in all kinds of ways.
And yes, like the building in this text, we, too, may have to be appropriately shaken to our foundations sometimes.
PRAYER: Alarms are going off. This happens with earthquakes, but not always. Let this not be a challenge to us, oh Lord. Instead, help us not respond with a sword but in service to You. Amen.