This morning I heard what I needed to hear. Like, so bad.
Acts 18. So, here’s Paul: Paul was asked personally by Jesus to be His witness and to go make disciples. Paul goes and has some luck and visits 25 cities in 5 years, but is tired and burnt out. And out of all the places to get led to, God takes him to Corinth. Corinth is like our modern-day Vegas; full of idols, prostitutes, and sin. So Paul, who more than anything probably thinks he needs somewhere calm where he can just relax, has to go probably his hardest place yet.
And what happens? Well, he’s broke. So he begins building tents again for money. He’s ministering “part-time” because he has to live. And slowly, God begins to meet his needs. He brings Priscilla and Aquila to help him make money, and he ends up making friends and disciples. As he makes new friends, old ones come about: Timothy and Silas come and bring financial support. And Paul, throughout this process, never ceases to proclaim Christ. It looked different at times, but he knew his calling and stuck with it through all the changes. God affirms him and then blesses him by having Paul stay there for a year and a half, building some of the strongest churches yet.
Paul, this saint, this man whose writings I read more than anybody else who has ever lived, whose words have shaped my theology and my understanding of Christ–he was burnt out at one point. He was “part time” at one point. He was in a place that didn’t appear to meet his needs. He was stuck doing a job that he wasn’t passionate about in order to be able to live (or even in order to minister!). He had hardships. But he stuck through it all, and no matter if he was able to minister “full-time,” “part-time,” or in prison, he just did it.
This is so encouraging to me…and it reminds me how important it is for me to not hold off “ministering” just because I’m not in my ideal position to minister. This may be where God wants me for years to come (how scary is that?), and instead of “sucking it up” I need to embrace it and do what He has called me to do.
The calling sticks…even when in Corinth.