“God…set me apart from birth and called me by his grace…to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles” (Galatians 1:15-16).
We have been looking in our biographical study of the life of Paul at how God used a variety of people to bring Paul to trusting in Jesus Christ and grow in his relationship with Him.
Back in Jerusalem Acts 9:28 says, Paul “stayed with them and moved about freely…speaking boldly in the name of the Lord.” This didn’t last long before some Grecian Jews plotted to kill him. “When the brothers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.” Here again he was stuck for 5-6 years.
John Pollock writes in his Book, The Apostle, the life of Paul, “The best years of Paul’s life were slipping away between the Taurus Mountains and the sea. It was harder to bear because he cared so deeply that all men everywhere should hear and believe, yet during his later thirties and into the early forties when a man approaches his prime, Paul drops out of history.”
I can’t see Paul sitting still doing nothing. No doubt he worked in his trade as a tentmaker, but I believe he shared the good news whenever he had an opportunity. There is no indication in the Bible that he was discouraged or depressed. He was just waiting in the waiting room.
Meanwhile God was doing a mighty work in Antioch where Barnabas was ministering. So much so, that Barnabas was feeling overworked. He remembered Paul and his enthusiasm for God, left his work in Antioch and searched for Paul in Tarsus. When he found him he shared what God was doing and recruited him to help. They taught the church there for a whole year with great results.
Be willing to wait patiently for God’s appointed time. Then make the most of the opportunities He opens up for you.