Summary: When we come to God in our midnight hour, he will set us free! In addition our situation might be for someone else’s benefit as well.
TEXT: ACTS 16:16-26
READ TEXT ACTS 16:16-24
Carole and I have a friend that seems to have the Midas touch. You know what I am talking about, everything that he touches seems like it turns into gold. Our friend can go into any situation and come out of it with more money in his pocket than when he went in. He is a hard worker but he has never worked hard at the blessings that life seems to throw him from time to time. Let me give you an example, when my friend and I were in college he rented an apartment on a six month lease. The end of the lease came and he moved out and cleaned up the apartment after he left. He was told the security deposit of $300 would be mailed to him with in a couple weeks. Well the couple weeks came and went and no deposit check. He called and they assured him he would receive it soon. A couple more months past and no security deposit check arrived. So he called once again. Of course they were very sorry for the mistake and he should expect the check any day now. About a month later he did receive a check in the mail from the rental company. I was there the day he opened the envelope. Almost $2,800! Now we are not even going to get into the sermon about whether or not he should have kept the check or not. But the point is… nothing like that ever happens to me! I would like to think I work just as hard but no money just falls into my hands. Sometimes life seems unfair.
Mark Buchanan, wrote about life being unfair in his book, Your God is Too Safe. Listen to what he has to say.
“In the town where I live, a little girl is dying. Her name is Kaitlyn. My daughter Sarah attended preschool with Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn’s mother, Bonnie, came to pick her up one day, and something was terribly awry. Bonnie wrote this to me:
Have you ever had a day that you know has changed your life forever, a day that you would do anything to black out, just fast-forward past?
February 28, 1997. I arrived at the preschool. Kaitlyn was standing in the playground, looking down at the grass. One of her playmates said several times, "Kaitlyn, your mommy is here." I spoke to her, and there was no reaction, so I approached her and lifted her chin up with my finger. When I did this, I realized something was wrong. Her eyes were vacant, and she had no recognition of me. I immediately called for the preschool teacher. Kaitlyn began to waver. I knelt down beside her and laid her across my lap. The teacher called her name and did other things to get her to respond. Her eyes were open but not focused; they rolled to the right. She remained limp. The ambulance was called. I carried her inside and started to lay her on her side. When I did this, she began to cry and call for mommy. When the paramedics arrived, I was holding her and kissing her and weeping. We were taken to the hospital by ambulance. … I was told she had a seizure but she would be fine. Tests were ordered.
The tests agreed with the initial diagnosis: Kaitlyn would be fine.
But Kaitlyn wasn’t fine. She grew increasingly pale. Her speech started to slur, and she began to fumble things, stumble often. She got more and more clumsy. She couldn’t hold things. She walked into walls and doorjambs, and she fell down a lot. Her speech worsened—words started coming out in guttural chunks, in sharp jagged howls, in throaty grunts, in mournful groans. The other 4-year-olds grew afraid of her. Some made fun of her.
The doctor kept ordering tests.
Then one day, Kaitlyn’s mother and father got the news that they dreaded and expected: Kaitlyn is dying. She has Batten’s disease, a rare and incurable congenital degenerative neural disorder. Her muscles are petrifying. They are now hard like wood; they will soon be hard like stone. They will harden until one day she can no longer swallow or breathe. Kaitlyn’s parents, her brother, her grandparents, her aunts and uncles and cousins, her friends, her church family—all watch beautiful little Kaitlyn die a slow death, and they can do nothing.
Kaitlyn’s mother is a Christian and has drenched her bed with tears. She has beaten her fists bloody on heaven’s door, trying to get the owner to open it and give her bread. She attends a church full of godly, caring people. They pray. Other people at other churches pray. They pray for many things—strength for the parents, wisdom for the doctors, comfort for Kaitlyn. But mostly they pray that God will heal Kaitlyn.