2 Then after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also.
I wanted to pause on this verse to note something we often forget in our microwave, ready now, society, a pause. Paul received revelation and everything didn’t happen right away. He didn’t start his missionary journeys (waited 8 years before they started) and didn’t consult with the other disciples (here we see he waited 14 years). The story of Paul didn’t unfold in a few days, leading to this massive ministry. No! It took many years before anything major even happened, and that’s after Paul was struck blind miraculously and then healed (also miraculously).
We imagine, as baby christians, that when we start our journey there is going to be this quick progression from non saved to great ministry. We feel like our life should change almost immediately and we should experience this grand shift in our lives. We miss the little detail of all of the stories within scripture- time. In all the stories there is time. There’s a large gap between Abraham receiving the promise and him experiencing the promise. There’s a large gap between Moses leaving Egypt and him returning to free the Israelites. There’s a large gap between David being crowned King and him actually sitting on his throne. There’s gaps everywhere.
When we are reading it goes from one verse to another and we don’t notice the 8-45 years between the two. The many years of trusting in God before seeing the gift. The many years of preparation, of falling, of succeeding, or questioning. The time in the waiting. There’s a whole sermon series on “the waiting.” How preparation is one of the most important things when you’re working. How the waiting increases our trust. How the waiting produces in us endurance. However, today we are just noting the waiting and keeping it on our mind so that we have correct expectations. If you want a great ministry, a fulfilling life, enjoy the waiting. Expect the waiting.