1999-07-15 - The Little Things
Acts 20:16 For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus in order that he might not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be in Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost. (NAS)
Paul had made it known earlier that he had wanted to be in Jerusalem for the Passover. Here he is obviously still a long journey away and the date is past. He is not wild-eyed with frustration, or crushed under grief or anything in between with the fact that his plans had to be adjusted. He is adjusting them and leaving the outcome to God. He passes by Ephesus. He probably felt that stopping there would be a significant delay, and he was probably right.
But that little clause - if possible - says that Paul knew God was in control. If God had wanted Paul in Jerusalem for the Passover, He would have simply done with Paul as was done with Phillip when Phillip was literally transported to the place where the Ethiopian eunuch was passing by in his chariot. Poof! And Paul would have been there for the Passover dinner. Paul was sidestepping attempts on his life during his return trip. It was not clear that he would return at all.
If possible made allowance for God to send Paul to places like Ephesus along with significant delays for the purposes of the Lord. Our schedules can be very important things to us. Preparation for a test or a special event can draw a great deal of our focus. But if God can move Kings and Kingdoms to satisfy His plans, our schedules don't really stand a chance.
Phil 4:11-13 Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. (NAS)
Having our plans deviated is frustrating, or it can be. Paul had learned to roll with the punches and let God do with Paul as He needed. He had suffered a few punches - shipwrecked, stoned and left for dead, snakebit by a viper. That sure does put the wrinkle in our schedules into perspective. Try to see the little things that go astray during the day from the perspective that God may be working in your life. Trust Jesus with the little things in your life, and the big things will move into place where He wants them.
Grace & Peace,