The house was adequate. A little small perhaps, but maybe that was because of all the people that came by. Even at night, men were coming and going.
But Paul could not go anywhere. For two years, he waited for his trial which might mean the end of his life. He didn’t view his house arrest as an end of his ministry, however.
Two soldiers at a time shared four-hour shifts with Paul. Soon the Gospel spread from that little house to all the elite Praetorian Guard and even Caesar’s household.
Paul also had an immeasurable global impact across two millennia, during those prison years, from his writings which are now found in the New Testament.
So what can you do when you have limitations? This was the challenge presented by a conference speaker, Dr. Crawford Loritts, during the 2007 national staff conference. His phrase, “confinement, but not restriction” stayed with me for months.
That particular summer, starting the day I allowed Josh to “take over” my car for his summer job, and on into September, after the boys returned to college, I was pretty much confined to home. In September, I had minor surgery on my legs and kept them elevated for two weeks. So, I was pretty much homebound for most of May through September; however, I filled a page in my journal with all the ministry opportunities I had when I could not get out! What a blessing!
Here’s some ideas when you find yourself confined, but not restricted:
- answer letters and eMails
- make encouraging phone calls
- become an online missionary for GMO
- share prayers and encouragement through Facebook
- study the book of John with a group of friends online
- and much more
Have you found ways to minister to others when you’re limited in some way?
NOTE: This Rembrandt painting of Paul in prison is in the public domain.