Mommy: “Are you glad it’s the last day of school?”
First Grader: “I wish it were the last day of college!”
Grandma: “Then you have to go to work.”
Daddy: “And you don’t get summers off!”
We all want our “learning season” over now! We want the rewards and promises of God today! But God doesn’t work that way.
“Psalms 33:11, ‘The plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.’ But we must be prepared to wait on God’s timing. His timing is precise, for He does things ‘at the very time’ He has set. It is not for us to know His timing, and in fact we cannot know it – we must wait for it. If God had told Abraham while he was in Haran that he would have to wait thirty years before holding his promised child in his arms, his heart might have failed him.” Streams in the Desert – May 24
God didn’t show Abraham how long he would have to wait. But, He showed Paul exactly what would happen to him.
Acts 9:16, “And now I’m about to show him what he’s in for – the hard suffering that goes with this job.” The Message
Paul accepted the job with all its suffering. Why? This was the job for which God created him. Before he misdirected his burning desire and zeal for God. Until he followed God’s plan for his life, he was always searching. It was an itch that would not go away – an unquenchable thirst. He had to do something!
“…written by a wise man of old, Jean Pierre de Caussade: ‘When one is thirsty one quenches one’s thirst by drinking, not by reading books which treat of this condition.’ If we are dying of thirst, passively reading books about water quenches little; the only way to quench the parched mouth is to close the book and dip the hand into water and bring it to the lips. If we thirst, we’ll have to drink. I would have to do something.” “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp
This is why reading books about the Bible do not satisfy like reading it for yourself. Even singing songs from the Bible do not quench your thirst for the Word of God. You have to read and study it. Ask God to show you things in it.
Back to Paul – how could he accept that assignment knowing the suffering to come?
Acts 9:31, “They were permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God. The Holy Spirit was with them, strengthening them. They prospered wonderfully.” The Message
Paul was not alone. God treated everyone the same. He strengthens anyone who treats Him reverently.
Acts 10:34-35, “God plays no favorites! (35) It makes no difference who you are or where you’re from – if you want God and are ready to do as he says, the door is open.” The Message
We would do well to follow the example of Abraham and Cornelius. They showed us how to wait properly.
Acts 10:31, “He said, ‘Cornelius, your daily prayers and neighborly acts have brought you to God’s attention.’ ” The Message
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