2 Corinthians 1:8,10: "We do not want you to be uninformed, sisters and brothers, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself ... God has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us."
One of the most interesting things about this passage is that we have no information at all about this terrible experience which Paul went through at Ephesus. Something happened to him which was almost beyond bearing. He was in such danger that he believed that the sentence of death had been placed on him and there was no escape.
There is an interesting human tendency; a common characteristic most everyone seems to share. When a person has gone through something extremely stressful or unexpectedly traumatic, like open surgery from a ruptured appendix, it will be the subject of our conversation for a very long time to come.
There is a story I once read about two men who met to discuss some business between them in the days of the First World War. The one began the meeting with telling about how the train he had been on was attacked from air. He would not stop talking about the frightening, dangerous, narrow escape encounter. The other said nothing at all, but eventually said quietly, "Well, let's get on with our business now. I'd like to get away fairly quickly because my house was demolished by a bomb last night."
Paul did not talk all the time, at length, about all of his hardships. But Paul did view this terrifying experience, whatever it is he had gone through, as having at least one remarkable use – it had driven him back to God.
There is an old saying that goes, "For every 'one' prayer that rises to God in days of health and well-being, ten thousand rise to Him in days of sorrow and adversity." As Abraham Lincoln said about his being 'driven back to God' – "I have often been driven to my knees in prayer because I had nowhere else to go."
It is often during times of turmoil and misfortune that a person finds out who their true friends are, who their spiritual supporters are, who their heavenly helpers are.
Jason E. Royle
Welcome to my blog. I'm an open-minded theologian committed to Christ-like compassion & understanding.
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