Paul wrote to the Philippians that even though he was imprisoned, they should rejoice. Why? The gospel was advancing. Paul’s imprisonment was actually his pulpit to preach the good news, and today we still read many of his “sermons” preserved in his New Testament letters.
Our prisons may not be literal, as Paul’s was, but God is more than able to use any “prison” (circumstance, relationship, or physical condition) as His platform for others to hear truth and impart hope. When I first heard this concept several years ago, I thought while that may be true for Paul or our pastor, no one wants to hear about my unexciting life. Lately, I have seen God use my mundane days as His pulpit to share about the sufficiency of Jesus in everyday life. Admittedly, my experiences parenting Joshua and struggles with depression are minor compared to Paul’s imprisonment for the gospel, yet God has given me the opportunity to honor Him as I share things I have learned from my ordinary life.
One of my favorite analogies of something lovely coming from the ordinary and mundane is the pearl. When little particles of sand or bacteria enter the shell, a fluid is formed to seal off the irritant, and the pearl grows. If irritants were not introduced into its environment, nothing of value would form. What irritants am I dismissing as obstacles instead of recognizing the Lord may want to use them over time to bring about something beautiful?
The Lord is working His beauty into our lives. My challenge for you as we enter this new year: Let your “prison” become His platform to bring the good news of Jesus to someone else.