“Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also.” Hebrews 13:3 NKJV
The author of Hebrews gave some final instructions to his Jewish brethren as he closed his letter. Many Jewish Christians had been imprisoned for their faith. Some had been put to death. Similar religious persecution continues today.
Many of our fellow Christians are in a prison with no bars. No chains. Some are locked in the cell of disease. Cancer, heart disease, diabetes and the nameless conditions that affect many. Others are held hostage by depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. Some are behind bars waiting for someone to release them. They wait for the doctor to find the correct treatment. They wait for the attorney to give them justice. They wait for the pay raise or promotion that will release them from the confines of their finances. Some are chained by addictions. Prescription drugs that weren’t supposed to be addictive. The spending habit that got out of control. The food addiction that holds them prisoner.Some wait for the surgery that will make it all better or the insurance that needs to cover it. Others wait for their turn at a better life.
Literal prison doors aren’t required to experience the desire for freedom. These are the prisoners the author of Hebrews encourages us to remember. Remember them in prayer. Remember them by visiting them or helping them. Remember them because you could be in a prison. Honestly, most of us are there today.
Joseph did some time in the pen for a crime he didn’t commit. His cell mates were Pharaoh’s chief butler and baker. They had some odd dreams, and they shared them with Joseph. He interpreted the butler’s dream as a sign that the butler would be released in three days and return to his position as chief butler to pharaoh. However, the baker would be put to death. Joseph begged the butler to remember him. Speak a word to Pharaoh to release him from prison. But Joseph was forgotten. Joseph waited. Two years passed before the butler remembered him. Then Joseph was released and promoted to Pharaoh’s second-in-command.
Are you in Joseph’s place today? Playing the waiting game? While I am lifting you up in prayer, I have good news. Everyone forgot Joseph, but God remembered him. God remembered and showed Joseph favor (Genesis 39:21).
Remember the prisoners. And remember, God is with you.
Which prison holds you captive today? Look for the signs of mercy and favor God gives you as you wait. Focus on them rather than what you cannot control. Leave the uncontrollable in God’s hands.
Heavenly Father, we get impatient waiting for life to get better. Help us remember Your timing is perfect. Thank You for Your mercy while we wait. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.