A certain woman named Lydia … The keeper of the prison
I enjoy reading the thoughts of others, especially the old time preachers and teachers from past generations. Today I had some extra time and decided to see what some of my favorites had to say about the scriptures in our readings. I especially enjoyed F.B. Myers comments concerning the power of fear. It challenged me to think about the positive effect fear can indeed have on humanity. Read his thoughts below and consider who you can relate to more, Lydia, or the jailer. There are typical cases, put here in juxtaposition for the teaching and comfort of believers in every age. Each of them needed Christ and each was brought into His true light; but each came in a different way. Lydia’s heart opened as a flower beneath the touch of the sun, so gradually and imperceptibly that it was impossible to say the precise moment of her new life. The jailer came to Christ suddenly, startlingly, amid the crash of an earthquake. The one was drawn by love; the other driven by fear. A distinguished missionary says, “The Lord awakened me with a kiss” — it was so that Lydia’s heart was won. Another tells us that the Lord sprang on him like a lion — it was thus with the jailer.
Lydia. — Do not always be looking out for signs and manifestations; for marked experiences. We do not notice the lines of longitude and latitude as we cross the ocean of life. Without knowing it, your character may be in the process of transfiguration. By insensible gradations the work of God may be proceeding in your heart. The tide is rising daily by tiny wavelets that appear to recede as fast as they advance. Do not measure progress by experience; only be yielded to God, and let Him do His will.
The Jailer. — Do not undervalue the influence of fear. There are some natures that never will be awakened unless they are startled by being brought face to face with the consequences of sin. If men will not come by the highest motives, be thankful that they come by any. Remember it is not belief about Christ, about His death or resurrection, but trust in Him as a living Person, that saves from the power and penalty of sin. “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.” He is a living Person. Trust Him now.
F. B. Meyer, Our Daily Homily, Accordance electronic ed. (Altamonte Springs: OakTree Software, 2008), n.p.