“Division in the Ranks”

Acts 15:36-40

Paul and Barnabas are ready to start their second missionary journey.  There is a problem.  John Mark, the young disciple who went with them on the first journey, had deserted them on that journey and Paul is unwilling to give him a second chance.  Barnabas, the encourager though, wants to take John Mark.  Paul and Barnabas have a sharp disagreement.  Paul heads out with Silas and Barnabas heads out with John Mark.  It is not a pretty moment but Luke records this disagreement so there must be a lesson for us to learn.

         We all have those moments of failure in our past and perhaps our present.  We’ve argued with people we cared about and had disappointed them.  Even our leaders are human and disagree.  Paul writes in Romans 8:28, “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.”  God can take our arguments and our mistakes and make them work to his glory.  It does not make the mistake any less a mistake, any less full of pride, any less a result of our stubbornness but it does affirm that God is able to weave together a new ending to our story and help us work things out.  We will never know what would have happened if we had gone down that other road rather than parting, if the marriage had survived, if we had just gone to one more doctor for advice, or if we had gotten that job.  We don’t know but we do know the God who holds our lives in his hands, can help us pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and try again.

         Perhaps there is somewhere in your life where you need to say, “sorry.”  The other may not receive it but you can try to clear matters as best you can.  Maybe it is time to stop crying over a mistake from the past and put it in God’s hands.  Jesus came so that we might have life, life abundant.  Both Paul and Barnabas prospered.  Blessings as you face your future with your “Silas” and the Lord!  Thank God for second chances.

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