Jul 23, 2007

Is There a Doctor in the House?

I have been reading through the book of Acts in my daily readings. The author of Acts - Luke the Physician - diligently records the amazing events at Pentecost and after, as the Gospel was spread to the outer limits of the Roman Empire. Well, one would expect a physician to be detailed in description and explanation! He manages to avoid reference to himself throughout most of the account, until chapter 14 verse 10 ~
After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
How did it come about that Luke became a constant companion of the Apostle Paul? In 2 Corinthians 12:7-9, Paul shares a little about his personal struggles ~

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Could it be that God allowed this "thorn in the flesh" in order that Paul would need an attending physician on his journeys? Would Acts have ever been written if Paul had not had a highly educated co-traveler with him at all times recording the miraculous events of the early Church? Of course we don't know for sure.

There are times in our life when we go through very difficult passages and we wonder why God doesn't give us relief or provide a deliverance from pain or suffering or material loss. It seems as though God isn't listening to us or doesn't care. Even the Apostle Paul asked for relief from his physical affliction, but it was not granted. In such situations, we must believe that God has something much better in mind; a plan that will bring greater glory to him and bless us in the process. We can only see the knots on the back of the tapestry - God sees the finished product. And it is guaranteed to be glorious!

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