Quite a problem, I know. You get this view of how life should be, and then along comes a chapter like Acts 20.
Here I am with my paradigm of what our calling should be like - kinda warm and fuzzy, and fun, lots of fun.
Then here's the apostle Paul telling a group of his friends that he has served them with "humility" and "tears". That he's looking forward to "prison" and "hardships". That he'll "never see" his friends again.
It's a bit grim, to say the least.
But in the midst of it, there's a gem. Paul blesses his friends, and I want to grab this verse and ask God for the same kind of blessing today:
Now I'm turning you over to God, our marvelous God whose gracious Word can make you into what he wants you to be and give you everything you could possibly need in this community of holy friends.There's a phrase I've heard twice in the last week: "If it's to be, it's up to me." This is only half true. I'm on a journey of knowing the real God - the God who can make me into what he wants me to be.
It's less comfortable than the mere idea of God, but I'd rather have the genuine article than a cheap copy any day.