Have you ever read a book and known the ending, but all the while you are wondering how the story will ever get to that ending? That’s how it is for me with the story of Paul and how he gets to Rome. Although Paul acts as if his last years in the Roman occupied territories around Israel were well orchestrated, he, of course, had no idea how he would get to Rome alive. He just knew he would and he looked for those opportunities to make it happen.
In other words, he had total trust in God. Can you imagine having that kind of faith? Every time I think I have a lot of faith in God’s plan for me, I find myself trying to steer the ship. It’s all about control with me. I want to control my life. In fact, I try to take control automatically without even thinking about it. It is like driving the same route to and from work every day. It’s so automatic, that sometimes I wonder how I got to work. The car must have auto-pilot. But then, one day, there is construction along the route and I have to detour. All of a sudden, I’m fully alert. And I’m none too happy. I don’t like change from my routine. It’s a reminder that I’m not in control.
Imagine how peaceful life would be if we allowed God to have total control of our lives. That is the peace that Paul felt, even though he knew he would die a martyr’s death. It’s the “peace that passes all understanding”. Definitionally, we can’t comprehend that kind of peace even though we continually try to shove it into a box and control it just for the sake of having control.
Now imagine if someone put a gun to your head and told you that in order to live, you had to give up control of your life to God. Would you? Could you?