He stumbled to the front gate, hands tied. It’d been eight long years in a cramped, cold cell. The scars on his back and sickly demeanor proof of his mistreatment. His crime had only been loving Jesus. The guard shoved him through the door and yanked on the rope until it released his bruised wrists.
The prisoner raised his aching head and met eyes with his faithful wife. She had thinned greatly as well, large bags under her tired eyes. He limped quickly to her. They embraced, first time in many years.
“I’m so sorry,” she whispered in his ear. “I don’t know why God would allow this.”
He smiled and held her face. “I do.” His adversaries expected him to rot away in the dungeon. But the opposite was true.
His wife grinned back looking into the strongest eyes she’d ever seen. “What do you want to do first? What have you been longing to do? Anything!”
He grasped her hand and walked away from the prison with her. “I want to worship with you.”
Bless our God, O peoples;
let the sound of his praise be heard,
who has kept our soul among the living
and has not let our feet slip.
For you, O God, have tested us;
you have tried us as silver is tried.
You brought us into the net;
you laid a crushing burden on our backs;
you let men ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water;
yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.