Paul is on his way to Italy. At last. It was several chapters ago (and years ago) that Jesus told him he was going to Rome. From the sounds of it, they waited a little too long into the season. I’m not a nautical genius, but if there were treacherous waters ahead, I’m not sure I would venture out. In Paul’s day, it’s hard to know what sort of predictions existed. The Weather Channel was certainly not available.
Paul sensed impending doom and tried to reason with them. I bet he felt invisible. Maybe you’ve felt like this before. Have you had a really great idea, been eager to share it, and then nobody listens? Or even worse, you have gone to the trouble of preparing a great presentation and either get bumped or time runs out before you can present. Then there are the times that you do share, but due to distractions nobody even hears you!
How do you deal with your emotions when you aren’t being heard? Do you jump up and down and throw a tantrum? Probably not. But the emotions that swell inside can cause damage and cripple you. I don’t want to give anything away about what is coming for Paul, but he was definitely on the right track.
As Christians we all have a great prediction — we will see the face of God in eternity if we believe in and follow Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Our God came to earth and paid the price for our sins. Our heavenly Father knew without a doubt that we would mess it up, so he had to come to redeem us. When we believe that with our whole heart, our future is secure. That is one prediction that is often not heard. If it is heard, it is not taken seriously.
What a shame for those who have not heard. As followers, we need to jump up and down to get everyone’s attention. That’s our job! (In addition to worshiping God with our whole self!) We need to make sure the whole world knows of God’s saving grace. If it takes jumping up and down, so be it!
We all have our “jobs.” That’s why God gifted us each in a different way. The body of Christ would look funny if it was made up of only ears. Likewise, if there were only people who could pray we would not have musicians, healers, prophets, teachers, etc. When we use the gifts God has given us to further his kingdom, we are doing what he has called us to do.
Don’t keep your mouth shut. Don’t panic if you’re not heard. Keep talking.
Let’s pray. Father God, I pray that you will open the ears that need to hear and the hearts that need to accept. May I continue to use the gifts you’ve given me to make you known to more and more people. I want to be a shining light to everyone I meet. May they know without a doubt there is something different about me. Provide the openings for me to share what it is. Keep my eyes aware and looking. In Jesus’ name. Amen.