Paul LeBoutillier: Moving forward with the word of the Lord |
Have you ever experienced a painful event in your life that you never wanted to experience again? Most of us have. I have to wonder if the Apostle Paul experienced a moment of terror when he approached the city of Lystra on his second missionary journey. You see, it was in Lystra where Paul had been viciously attacked by an angry mob a few months earlier. People dragged him to the outskirts of town, threw him on the ground, and started throwing rocks and rocks at him until they were sure he was dead. It’s traumatic!
There he was, facing those difficult memories as he approached the city of Lystra again. Would people react as violently as the first time? Would his life be in danger? Would he have ended up regretting this trip?
We read in the book of Acts (chapter 16) that Paul responded in obedience to the Lord’s call, not knowing what he would find there, unbeknownst to him there was a blessing waiting for him.
Doctor Luke noted it thus: “Paul also came to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was Greek. He was well known to the brothers of Lystra and Iconium. (Acts 16:1-2)
As we see from this passage, it was in Lystra that Paul met Timothy – a man he would call “my true son in the faith”, and concerning Timothy he would later write: “I have no one like who truly cares about your well-being. (Philippians 2:20).
What a blessing Timothy was to Paul. But the discovery of this blessing was possible only because Paul was willing to pass over the wound of a painful memory, and to walk by faith and obedience towards the will of God.
It is never easy to overcome hurtful memories, but there is one that can and will allow us to move forward. We must refuse to let fear direct our steps. This is only possible as we lean heavily on the loving embrace of the Lord and trust Him to have the strength to take every step. If we do this, we are sure to find a blessing we would have otherwise missed.
Paul LeBoutillier is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Ontario. He may be contacted in care of The Argus Observer, 1160 SW Fourth St., Ontario, OR 97914. The Argus Observer weekly faith column features a rotation of writers from many ddifferent beliefs and perspectives.
Paul LeBoutillier is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Ontario. He can be reached in care of The Argus Observer, 1160 SW Fourth St., Ontario, OR 97914. The Argus Observer’s weekly faith column features a rotation of writers from different faiths and perspectives.