He promised, “I will come back if it is God’s will.” (Acts 18:21)
Blizzards. Hurricanes. Pandemics. Sunsets. The Grand Canyon. Falling in love. Life has a way of reminding us that we’re never fully in command. We make our best plans and take our best shots, but in the end, we have to leave everything in God’s hands. Living this way can be scary (especially if you have controlling tendencies). Yet it’s also liberating. Just ask the main characters in this week’s passage from Acts 18.
Paul didn’t cling to his ministry in Corinth, holding on longer than was healthy for him out of anxiety that the church would fall apart if he wasn’t around. Nor did he leave Corinth only to “upgrade” to a prestigious position in Ephesus. He didn’t confuse the Ephesians’ voices begging him to stay with God’s voice telling him to go. It turned out God had Apollos waiting in the wings to present the case for Christ in Ephesus and Corinth after Paul was gone.
When Apollos arrived on the scene, Priscilla and Aquila didn’t treat him as a threat. Their loyalty to Paul didn’t drive them to hostility toward the smart new kid on the block. Instead, they mentored him and promoted his ministry. Apollos himself wasn’t too self-protective to learn from Paul’s friends. He held truth in higher regard than his ego.
What are you clutching fearfully or jealously? God’s hands can handle it.
Open your hands symbolically to surrender your wants and worries to God.
Jerome Van Kuiken is a missionary kid, a pastor’s kid, and dean of the School of Ministry and Christian Thought at Oklahoma Wesleyan University.
© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.