What’s the reason some seasons seem so long, leaving you feeling uncertain?
What’s the reason . . . you know God has called you to a task, but seems like he forgot or lost his way?
What’s the reason . . . God redeemed you, showed you the Way, then seems to have you left you in the desert?
What’s the reason Jesus Christ stepped directly into Paul’s path, then led him
into darkness, then troubles, then silence …
For the children of God, there is the bigger story - the whole story.
For the children of God, he always has a plan.
For the children of God, he never falls asleep.
For the children of God, he never leaves them to their own devices.
For the children of God, any season of waiting is always purposed for our good.
Maybe you’re in the season of ‘not now’, ‘just wait’, ‘it will soon be better’ or ‘keep your eyes on Me…I am all you need’. Sometimes it is difficult but one day, twill all be clear when we see Jesus face to face.
Think of Saul who Jesus deliberately went after for a big, grand purpose, but then---seemed to throw one curveball after another. His was a radical turnabout and though he was told he would face great suffering for the name of Jesus, he pursued Christ all the harder! It is as though a door was cracked open, Saul got a glimpse of all of the hard times he was going to face - and knew he had a choice: go back from whence he came or continue on, accepting that not much was ever going to be easy again. This is quite a thought for me. So convinced of the truth of the life and love of his Messiah, Jesus Christ, Saul left the known for the unknown. He left that which he had known all of his life--his beloved Judaism and Torah law--and became an outcast among his Pharisaic friends and family. His gain - the grace of God, the relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
If we are honest, sometimes it seems like things just seem to come easily to others, but we really have no idea of the inner workings of that person’s life. Without looking a little closer, we could think that Saul was saved one day, and after three quiet days in Damascus, started preaching and had a vibrant ministry. We would be wrong.
From Acts 9: Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.
After many days had gone by . . . 1
How many days went by? We learn from his letter to the church at Galatia that ‘many days’ amounted to about three years! From Galatians chapter 1, Paul writes “For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being. I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus.
Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem…2
After his dramatic transformation, Saul was sidelined in the desert for three years; we will also learn that after that he was back in Tarsus for about a decade before his time of ministry to God is fully activated. Hmmm… a time of waiting, trusting…
From the time Saul knew the truth of Jesus, he lived every day trusting God and desiring to honor him. In blindness, in waiting and in silence, Saul knew whatever God permitted in his life was for a reason - a reason to grow him for a bigger purpose.
In the waiting
In the time of trial
In the uncertainty, I want to make it my daily purpose to live for God’s glory . . .
In attitude, in thought, in word, in deed ~ even when I do not understand.
I take to heart what Jesus said, “My Father is always working, and so am I.”3
And so I wait . . . and smile.
An apt song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkVIQHEYMqA
Eyes cast toward Heaven,
1 - Acts 9.19-23a
2 - Galatians 1.13-18a
3 - John 5.17