Holding PatternTim Savage
27After two years went by in this way, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. And because Felix wanted to gain favor with the Jewish people, he left Paul in prison. Acts 24
Have you ever been in a plane on the tarmac when the pilot announces that there is a delay while something is attended to? You just never know whether you’ll be waiting a few minutes or a few hours. It can be excruciating! While trying to get to Rome, his final destination, Paul found himself in court in Caesarea defending himself against the religious leaders in front of Governor Felix. Then, for the next 2 years he was held under house arrest. I bet Paul never imagined that stop on his journey taking 2 years. Although he was kept under guard, he was also given many freedoms and allowed to visit with friends, so I imagine it was a pleasant “imprisonment.” But knowing Paul, I’m sure he felt that he could have been more productive, more useful, under different circumstances. This is a good reminder that even one of God’s most prolific and influential disciples was put in to a holding pattern.
The question is what do I do when I feel like I’m in a holding pattern? Paul met regularly with Felix and his wife Drusilla, sharing the gospel with them. He probably kept in touch with the churches he planted and visited, giving them guidance and encouragement from afar. I must identify and cooperate with what God has for me during that time. If God has ordained it, then it’s useful and not wasted. His plan is perfect; I may not understand it, but I don’t know what’s around the corner – a year from now or even a minute from now – God knows the entire story from beginning to end. We will all go through seasons that feel like we’re in a holding pattern, delayed on the tarmac, while we impatiently wait to take off and fly, but God is working on something, something important in our character, growing our roots deeper, preparing us for what is to come. I must never despise these times, instead I will embrace them and cooperate with God’s perfect plan.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for Your words that bring understanding and life. Thank You for preparing me for what is to come. You have a perfect plan and future for me and I want to follow Your lead and cooperate with You.
In Jesus name,