Phillippians 1:12 And I want you to know my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the good news.
This is a letter from Paul and Timothy, they are writing from prison. And they see this as a great opportunity to spread the good news. Because of their imprisonment the whole palace guard knew who Christ was.
This made me wonder how often God gives us a story to tell of His goodness while we are going through hard times? How many more people do we have the opportunity to reach during those times? Do we take me that opportunity or do we just grumble and complain about our circumstances?
I live with Lupus, it is not something God gave me, but it is something God protects me from all the time. I can be very aware of all the ways God blesses me in each flair, in each remission and share God's story in my life. Or I can grumble and complain, thinking only of poor me and miss opportunities to share God's amazing love, to share how God is always with me. I can miss the opportunity to share my struggles with compassion as I listen with understanding when another person struggles with something simular. I do have my poor me days! But I am learning all the time that God is in the details of my victories. They in fact are not my victories but His victories in my life.
Paul and Timothy could have given up, they could have laid on the prison floors and succumb to all the horrors of being prisoners. But instead they reached a whole group of people that would have never heard them otherwise.
God tells us in His word that we store up treasures I. Heaven for our good deeds. When we go through hardships, illinesses, pain and suffering...we can lay down and hurt, wallow in our misery or we can get up and fight the good fight. Fight the urge to give in and give up, we can move forward in our days, paying close attention to God's work in our lives and use those stories to share with others God's amazing love and care. And in doing so we can know that God is storing up such wonderful things for our efforts. And we will get to share them with the people we have touched because we didn't give up, because we didn't give in!