“But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;“–Phil. 1:12-13
I’ve never been in prison but I can well imagine how I might feel. I suspect that I might feel that my ministry was over, that my usefulness to God had come to an end, and that I had a right to complain. That’s why I marvel so at the story of Paul who suffered all kinds of hardships and was imprisoned at Rome, yet used of God in a mighty way. I’m not the only one impressed. J. R. Miller wrote, “A prison is not an ideal place for usefulness. Yet no years of the apostle’s life were ,ore fruitful of good than than when he was a prisoner. He wrote letters to the churches he could not visit, and to individuals he he wished to help, and the letters not only carried blessings to those to whom they were written, but they have been carrying blessings ever since to countless lives”.
I hope you let that sink in and feel the full impact. Your situation might be much different than Paul’s–you have a problem of a different sort, but you feel like a prisoner to your circumstances, limited and useless. You are so focused on the obstacles that you see no opportunities. However, although the manner of your usefulness is different that Paul’s there is something you can do. Whatever your circumstances are there is some way you can be used of God to be a blessing to others. In some cases it won’t even be through direct contact. It might simply be their knowledge of the good way you handled your bad situation. Testimonies can be powerful.
The fact is, if you live long enough the time will probably come when the manner in which you serve God will change. Physical limitations or other factors will prevent you from doing what you do now, but don’t give up. There is always something you can do..The fact that you are still alive is evidence that God wants to use you. You might think your best days are over, when they are actually yet to come. Don’t you dare give up before God is through with you!–HDS