Throughout his ministry Paul the Apostle was being hunted by some nefarious force or another. This time it was by the governor of Damascus, who went out of his way to capture this most dangerous individual. You don’t commit time and resources to capture or otherwise destroy an individual if the individual in question poses no threat to you, your agenda, or your plans.
Paul was dangerous to the status quo. He was dangerous for the religious leaders of his time, he was dangerous for the political leaders of his time, because he was effective, and by the power of God and the unction of the Holy Spirit, he reached otherwise unreachable people.
If you map out the life and ministry of Peter versus Paul, you begin to see how the demographics of individuals impacted by their ministries varied wildly. God knows who to send where, who to employ for a particular calling, and as long as we submit, as long as we acknowledge His omniscience in the matter, things will turn out for good.
The governor wanted to take no chances, so he locked down the entire city of Damascene. He knew Paul was somewhere in the city, so he secured it in its entirety, and in his mind, it was only a matter of time before this enemy of the state would be captured, and dealt with.
Rather than wait for the authorities to come knocking, and surrender to them, Paul was lowered in a basket through a window in the city wall and escaped unscathed.
And this is what I’ve been mulling over this morning. This is what stood out as I was reading my morning scripture: Paul and the brethren did everything in their power to make sure he was not captured.
They did not wait patiently for the authorities to come knocking, they didn't just throw their hands up and say, "it's in God's hands." They did all that they could to ensure a good outcome, then left to God that which they could not control.
If, as they were lowering Paul the rope broke, then it was in God’s hands. It is never specified that Paul asked how often they changed the rope on the basket, or if it had been tested recently, he got in the basket and was lowered down by the brethren.
There must always be a balance in our day to day lives, wherein we do what we must to affect the world around us, but simultaneously surrender to God that which we know to be outside our sphere of control.
Most days we do the opposite, and it is counterproductive, to say the least. Most days we attempt to control that which we have no way of controlling, while failing to do our part, and the things we know are within our ability to do.
Paul knew he could not control whether or not the rope broke as they lowered him down, and so he didn’t even bother to inquire. What he could do, was get in the basket, and with the aid of other believers, be helped to escape the clutches of the governor.
Getting in the basket is on you. Keeping the rope from breaking is on God.
Knowing that He is a good Father, knowing that He watches over His children, and knowing that nothing is impossible for Him, we journey through this life with hope and purpose, not fear and trepidation.
We know and see with eyes of faith that even if the rope breaks, He will soften the landing, because the testing of our faith is an ongoing thing, and the more we grow in Him, the bigger the challenges become.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.