He is universally regarded as one of the greatest Christian preachers of all time. For the sake of the Cause, he endured persecutions of severity: flogged, whipped, beaten and even stoned and left for dead. Even as he moved from place to place, his enemies pursued and harassed him. Along with this measure of suffering, he demonstrated remarkable power in speech and deed. He performed miracles of healing, even to the point that handkerchiefs he had touched restored the sick to health. Through his preaching and writing, the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Nazareth spread throughout the world. Even though he lived nearly two thousand years ago, his literature still compels, inspires and motivates millions.
At one point, this missionary of the Messiah came to the city of Troas and found “the Lord had opened a door for me.” Imagine the opportunity!! A man of such faith and power, such persuasion and gift in a place where God had opened a door! Imagine the scores, hundreds, even thousands who might be converted and saved. Imagine the good works that could be done: the blind seeing, the deaf hearing, the lame walking, the mute speaking, the lepers cleansed and the sick healed!
In spite of all of this possibility, the Apostle Paul promptly left the city, turned away from all that opportunity that the Lord himself had provided. What would lead this powerful servant to turn his back on all that and go somewhere else? Simply put, he couldn’t find his friend there. (2 Cor 2:12-13).
So what happened? Was Paul chastised and disciplined? Was the Lord disappointed in him? Did his life take a severe downward turn into gloom and misery because he neglected the opportunity the Lord provided? Nope, not at all.
He went on to Macedonia and with the rest of his life. And you know what? The Lord opened other doors for him, no matter where he went. And Paul continued to minister, serve and preach the Gospel. And to endure persecution from time to time.
For too many years I have lived in fear. Afraid that moving somewhere else or doing something else might lead me out of God’s will and bring down wrath upon me. Afraid that seeking a different job might not work out as I hoped. Afraid of disappointing God. I think I’m starting to get over that.
I’m starting to figure out what Paul knew. The tentmaker understood with great clarity that as long as he continued to seek God no matter where he was, he would have opportunity to serve Him.
Our God is big enough to open more than one door.