Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Unusual Places

Scripture Text: Acts 23:23-35

In this section from the book of Acts we find Paul is often in danger of being killed by the crowd. Every time it is the Roman officials that rescue and provide safety for Paul. This protection is all because Paul is a Roman citizen, however there is irony that in the name of Caesar, Paul is protected. During the time of the Caesars the Roman understanding was Caesar is lord, and that there is not other lord than Caesar. This is not what Paul believed or taught.

Even though Paul had a Lord other than Caesar, his protection from the mob was from Caesar. His protection came from an unusual place. Further, the people who should have been most understanding of Paul's message and a place of protection, were the very people who were attempting to kill him. In our lives our protection can often come from unusual places.

It did not make sense for Paul to run to the Romans, yet it was the best path for him to continue the ministry God had put in front of him. In our marriage there are times when the path we need to take is not the path that makes the most sense. When we first moved from a camp in the Adirondacks to the Rochester NY area so Aaron could attend seminary, the way things happened made not sense.

We both had paying jobs and we moved to a situation where neither of us had jobs. We moved from a four bedroom apartment that was part of a compensation package to a two bedroom apartment with rent that we did not see until we moved in. We were doing all the things we would tell others to never do, it made no sense, and was exactly the path we needed to take.

So often we rely on our own understanding and ability to figure out the challenging situations we find ourselves in, or we rely on our own wisdom of how to best cultivate a marriage. Reality is we need to rely on a wisdom and understanding different than ours more often than not. When we reach the end of our own ability, we must rely on someone other than ourselves. Reducing our self reliance opens the door to rely on God. Allowing ourselves to rely on God is the only way to find the path for us, and the only way to cultivate a marriage worth having.

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