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Philippians 1

What is a Surprise to Me, isn’t a Surprise to God

It is such a beautiful thing to read how Paul wants to be involved with his community even while being in prison. He wants to see them thrive!

He is excited for the time when he will be reunited with them. But until then, he prayed for the Philippian believers, and always did so “with all joy” (1:4). Paul’s isolation looked a lot different than mine has been, but God still used him. It’s been cool to experience God using me in this time too.

Reading how Paul was “praying with all joy” (1:4) within the first couple of verses of Philippians 1, I felt God pushing me to be in prayer more for others. It’s crazy how close I feel to people when I pray for them. It seems so crazy to think that instead of Paul complaining about the situation he was in, he knew God had placed him there for a reason. And instead of wasting his time, he continued to do what God called him to do. God hasn’t been surprised by anything that I’ve been going through, even in this season of so many unknowns. He knew where I would be spiritually and emotionally, and what I’d be going through internally. He knew I’d have a rough time being away from my community and that I would feel disconnected and distant from my friends. 

But in sweet ways, God has reminded me that I can still be there for people even if it looks a little different. He created me to be a change and to make a difference. Yet, unlike Paul, I have found myself making countless excuses as to why I can’t partake in God’s plan during this time. I am working towards changing that. I don’t want to come out of all this with no spiritual growth. Reading Philippians 1 during this season of unknown has taught me that God wants to use me everyday and in every circumstance, I just have to be brave enough to say “yes.”

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weekly reflection by

Hannah Sidebotham