Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul. (Acts 11:25)
Michelangelo did not want to paint the Sistine Chapel, according to our guide when I visited in the 1990s. Nevertheless, the pope made it hard on him not to do so. He earned a handsome sum for the work, but various parts of the painting depict his displeasure with the job—if you know where to look. Four years is a long time to work lying on your back, but Michelangelo was persistent and finished what is arguably one of the world’s greatest masterpieces. Jobs worth doing are seldom easy or quick.
The church’s headquarters was Jerusalem, but the church in Antioch was seeing tremendous growth. Barnabas was sent to find out how things were going. On behalf of the Jerusalem church, he made the 300-mile trek. The progress he found, made him glad. Knowing that the young ministry needed solid leadership, he traveled the additional 100 miles to Tarsus to find Saul. We do not know how long the time was between the two trips, but 400 miles showed great persistence. God’s work needed adequate support—and providing that support required dedication and effort. Barnabas went for the right reason.
We all share in the work of ministry. While shortcuts are tempting, persistence is necessary for the success God desires. Working for the kingdom is not always an easy job, but the results are worth the effort.
Make an effort—because ministry is the priority.
Roland E. Cavanaugh is a former pastor and current chaplain of Providence Place Senior Health and Rehabilitation (NC). He enjoys reading, writing, and nature.
© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.