So Paul stayed for a year and a half...
Thoughts for Today:My seven year old daughter Amanda has a very well developed sense of direction as well as a keen memory. Many times in the car she will say for example, if we turn here we could go to Krissy's house (one of her adult sisters), and often she is right. However, Amanda is a child and even though some landmarks might look familiar they aren't always the right ones; if it was completely up to Amanda, she could easily take a wrong turn, lose her way and become lost. Fortunately, I drive the car when we are together, not Amanda; and I know where we are going and how to get there. Sometimes Amanda will ask, "Daddy are we lost?" and I answer, "No, we're not. I know the way and we'll be there soon; no need to worry, just relax and enjoy the ride."
Previously in verses 9-10, the Lord said something similar to Paul, "Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you." In other words, the Lord is saying, "Paul just relax, no need to worry or fear, I've got things under control, just continue to do your thing and I'll take care of the rest." So Paul did just that, rather than following his typical pattern of short stops in each city, Paul stayed for a year and a half -- fully secure in God's promise and presence.
You may be thinking, "If only life was that easy." But isn't it? Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:26-27, "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" The reason we worry is because we don't realize that God is driving the car; He knows the way; He never gets lost; and even better, He is always in complete and total control. If you believe that (and live accordingly), you have found the secret to a worry-free life.
Questions to Ponder:Wouldn't it be nice to fully believe every moment that the Lord is in control, and not feel like we need to manage every little detail of our lives? Through God's Word (the Bible), the Lord has given us over three thousand promises; it is only up to us to read, recognize and believe them. We don't need to be on an emotional roller coaster anymore; excited and optimistic one moment and fearful and stressed out the next. Instead we can be like Paul, secure in God's promise and presence. Which will you choose? How many of God's promises do you know?