031006 Finding God in the Mystery of every day
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Acts 16:18 She kept this up for many days. Finally, Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.
Proverbs 12:16 Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult.
Many years ago, I had the unfortunate experience of having my wallet stolen in a swarm attack in the Plaza San Francisco in La Paz Bolivia. When I noticed the wallet was gone, I was able to cancel the cards and replace identification. Fortunately, my passport was in the safe back at the Seminario del Nazareno for we were all required to carry a copies of that document around our necks.
So, how does this relate to the texts above? Paul was no doubt sharing the truth of Jesus She was in fact being used by the merchants who sold little idols to the people to whom Paul was trying so desperately to bring to a knowledge of Jesus. While I was in Bolivia as a church leader, I felt it was necessary at the very least to approach the Civil Guard who gathered in clusters on the street corners armed with AK-47 rifles. One of the more senior guards simply remarked to me. “Senor. You are a big guy. Why didn’t you just hit them when they attacked you?” (Most Americans tend to be taller and heavier than the average Bolivian.)
I wasn’t looking to start a fight, just as Paul didn’t want to start a fight, but sometimes these things are visited upon us whether we like it or not. God used what happened to Paul to bring glory to Himself. In some small way, my Holy Spirit informed ability to differentiate between “stuff” and substance I hope brought some measure of glory to God before my team members and the people I worked with there.