Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Short-sighted or blind-sided?

Acts 9:14-16 15 But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."

It occurs to me that what God had in mind wasn’t an instant gratification nor a complete revelation of Paul’s future. He gave Paul no vision showing all that he must suffer for the sake of the Name. There was no dream. There was no Divine voice. The Scriptures offer no record that He indicated to Paul in any way the extent of his future suffering for the sake of Christ; He merely told Ananias that He would insure Paul knew how much he must suffer.

And what if He had told Paul? Would Paul have shrunk back from his mission of His message? Would he have the strength, at this infant state of His faith in Christ, to willing go where God would lead him?

Perhaps suffering serves a purpose. I personally believe that it does. But if it is to accomplish God’s divine purpose it cannot be suffering that knows every jot and tittle of the outcome. Paul had no such assurances, and neither do we. Is it necessary that we know why God has placed a burden upon us? Is it not enough to merely know that He shoulders the burden alongside us? To know that He is working to accomplish His good through us from what we perceive as an evil laid upon us?

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