Paul has just finished a dramatic confrontation with the religious leaders of the Temple. A group of assassins pledges their lives to kill him, and he is saved by the clever, last minute intel coming to a Roman commander who increases the guard. Finally, Paul makes it to the governor and gets to share his faith in a trial that could lead to his freedom or execution.
And then, he is told to wait.
And wait some more.
A bit more.
Two years pass. Paul is under “arrest” in the palace of the Roman governor. He is safe, likely pretty comfortable, but definitely not where he thought he would be. He expected he would be heading to Rome, making his case to the Emperor himself! Instead, he sits inside and waits for the next adventure.
If there is any part of Paul’s story that we - the generation of COVID-19 - can sympathize with, surely it is this! Paul had plans! Passion! A mission from God! What could be more important than that?
Paul - like us - had to wait for God’s timing. But Paul didn’t just sit twiddling his thumbs. We know that he spent some of his time writing letters - some of which have ended up in the New Testament. These “Prison Epistles” - some written while he was in Rome, some possibly written during his imprisonment in Judea - are some of Paul’s most engaging and powerful letters. Ironically, he may have had more of an impact while waiting for his trip to Rome than he did by actually going.
God has a plan and a mission for you, too. It may feel like everything is on hold, that your life has been put on pause and you are waiting for Him to press play. But this “downtime” is just as much a part of the plan as what comes after. Even now, you have the ability to benefit others and influence lives. Like Paul, your opportunity to serve the kingdom may be greater now than ever.
How are you using the time you’ve been given? Are you using it to better yourself and serve others? Will be you ready to meet the challenges that await you on the other side? Or are you just killing time waiting for something better?