As I write, the likelihood of another national lockdown is looming. The various tiered local measures applying across England do not appear to be halting the dramatic advance of the deadly Covid-19 virus – do we all face, in some form, a return to domestic prison?
Coincidentally (?!) I also began this morning reading through one of Paul’s ‘prison letters’, Colossians. Paul had, of course, been imprisoned on several occasions – he suggests in 2 Corinthians 11v23 this had happened to him “frequently”. He introduces himself to the Colossians as “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God” (v1). Not only is it God’s will for Paul to be an apostle, it is also God’s will for him to write this letter – and to be writing it from prison!
Going back to prison as a result of re-offending is generally regarded as a failure and understandably many have sought to avoid a second national lockdown at all costs. But how should we face such a possibility? Let us not fear the future, remembering that God can use whatever prison we’re in or face for His purposes, just as He did for Paul. Some may, perhaps, not be concerned by a further lockdown, but instead endure prisons of illness, failure, heartbreak, redundancy, bereavement, old age etc. Whatever our prison, God has not abandoned us, and in a deep, unfathomable (to us) way He is working out His perfect will, even through such imprisonment, for His glory. In this way Jesus truly proclaims “freedom for the prisoners” (Luke 4v18).
Peace and Grace
PS: Do read / sing through William Cowper’s great hymn “God moves in a mysterious way” – verse 2 says: “Deep in unfathomable mines, Of never failing skill, He treasures up His bright designs, And works His sovereign will.”