This week, I shared a graphic with a quote I used Sunday. I know I adapted it from somebody, can’t remember who, oh well. But what is so cool is I almost left it out of the sermon, yet it ended up being the tag for the whole message.
Maybe you’re not stuck – maybe you are stationed.
We were looking Acts 27-28, where Paul was a prisoner, traveling to Rome, caught in a storm, shipwrecked, and even bitten by a snake (which he just had to shake it, shake it, shake it, shake it, shake it off). He was stuck on Malta, a product of delay, detours, and disaster. But in the end, he was used by God to bring revival to Malta – which one source said is now the most Christian nation in Europe with 98% connected to the Christian faith.
Paul could’ve thought he was stuck. This place was not where he wanted to be. It was not Rome. He was stuck. Or was he? People were healed, the Gospel was presented, and when he was ready to depart, they provided everything he needed to get him to Rome. His being ‘stuck’ changed that place and the people – forever.
Now, Sunday’s sermon started with so many connected to this feeling of being stuck, even me. I have been in Dallas for almost three years waiting for that next step, that next opportunity God has for me. I kept searching for the reason ‘why’ that I often missed the reassurance of the ‘Who’ … God is for me, God is with me, and God loves me.
In today’s discussion, and in looking at the text from a point of view beside Paul’s view, here’s where I see me stationed in my situation. Acts 27.1-28.16 is the last of the “We Passages”. The author, Luke, employs the pronoun ‘we’ showing the reader that he was right there with Paul on some of the mission trips. Get this … he went through the storm, he was shipwrecked, he was going through the same delays, detours, and disasters as Paul. But Paul gets all the press.
He might’ve felt stuck as well. But you know, his station was right there by Paul’s side. As a physician, maybe his role was assisting the 57 year old apostle (it is believed he arrived in Malta in 60 CE, and he was born in 3 CE … so 57, same age I am now!). Maybe his role was to be right there at Paul’s side. For three years – my role, my station, has been to be right by Lisa’s side as we returned to Dallas in 2015 for her to be near her father.
I am not stuck – I am stationed. My station is to be right next to her … as she had been right next to me in my ministry positions for over the first 27 years of our marriage.
Maybe your station is to be there for someone else. Maybe your place of being ‘stuck’ is really a place for you to help your family, your spouse, a coworker, a boss, whomever. Whatever the place or position – job, city, school, situation, relationship, etc. – it’s a station.
I don’t know the reason, but I do know the God who is with you, for you, and loves you – He knows exactly where you are and wants to use you right there. Stop seeing it as being as stuck and start seeing it as being stationed. How will you serve at your station?
From Lisa’s Luke … be blessed … todd