What You Might Not Know

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And there occurred such a sharp disagreement that they separated from one another, and Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus.

Acts 15:39

The Greek word for sharp disagreement in this verse is paroksysmós and it means a provocation which literally jabs (cuts) someone so they “must” respond.

Barnabas and Paul had been serving together for years. Barnabas was the first one to stand up on behalf of Paul and say, hey this guy has been called of Christ, let him in and let him serve…

 While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 

Acts 13:2

Paul and Barnabas served well together. They no doubt were quite comfortable with one another. They had known great success in their ministry together. As the book of Acts continues to share…

All the people kept silent, and they were listening to Barnabas and Paul as they were relating what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles.

Acts 15:12

These two were unstoppable. Together they reached out to the Jew and the Gentile. Together they watched many be saved and be filled with the Holy Spirit. Together they testified to the beautiful grace of God. They stayed in Antioch for many days… but there came a time for things to change. Paul’s heart began to stir and Paul said to Barnabas let’s go back over our old route and see how everyone is doing. 

Then came the change. Then came the paroksysmós, the provocation which literally jabs (cuts) someone so they “must” respond. 

As I sat last night entering into a committed study in a new church one of the facilitators of the study closed the lesson with the separation of Paul and Barnabas… supposedly caused by a conflict. Here is what I know, sometimes God creates a conflict to get us moving in a different direction.

My family begins the journey of leaving the place we have called home for over 14 years. The place where all of our girls were baptized. The place where we learned to study and proclaim the Word of God. The places where we have spent the majority of our days the past decade. The place that allowed us to teach and to learn and grow. The place where we met others who helped us through rebellious kids, sick kids, financial strain, and hard moments of marriage.

If I knew what divorce felt like… I would say this is pretty stinkin’ close.

The months and weeks and days that have brought us to this place have been beyond painful. The paroksysmós started coming and before we could recover from one another would hit harder and deeper and sting even longer. The confusion that comes in the midst of this is something that is hard to put into words. As you sit and lay it all out trying to decipher if this Satan trying to prevent a move of God or God allowing Satan to torment and sift so that you WILL MOVE with God is mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually draining.

As you begin to slowly loosen your grip on all that you have ever known you find yourself deciding to just keep clinging on to this one small part… but then comes the moments where it is like you are holding on with one hand and something like a sledge hammer slams down upon that hand and you can no longer hold on to anything at all… and you have to let go… because the pain is simply too great to be able to hang on.

In the letting go there comes the thought that you must justify to everyone all your legitimate reasons for letting go… we could make a list of the paroksysmós that we have experienced… but we don’t want anyone keeping a record of wrongs against us so we shall not do it to another. Our family is not in the business of tearing down the work of God… we have always tried to be those who built up and encouraged and helped bear the burdens of others.

So a new journey begins for our family. A new journey that we believe God Himself always had planned we just were not going to go easily… because who likes to leave the comfort of home and step into new seas that you have never swum… especially when you know that so many waters are infested with sharks and you know you could easily be devoured.

What if you step out of that boat and you all sink to destruction? What if the giants of the land defeat you?

But what if you step out and are able to walk on that water and find once again life and that sweet taste of honey?

For the first time in a long time my family came home from a service with peace… leaving better than we arrived.

The Lord will give strength to His people;

The Lord will bless His people with peace.

Psalm 29:11

What you might not know doesn’t matter. Because we can’t put it behind us and press forward to what lies ahead if we don’t forgive it and forget it, and we can’t forget it if we hold on to it to make a list of it to justify what we now clearly see as God’s leading. God knows we would have never went easy.

As Priscilla Shirer said in the video message last night… sometimes it is just time to walk down a different street. Each of us must decide if we want to go where God is leading.

There is song by Sidewalk Prophets that has been ringing in my ears for almost a year… as I struggled with so many questions and hurts… and I have sang it as a prayer and a cry… it still brings tears to my eyes and hope to my heart all at the same time.  Whatever His will. I lift my empty hands to Him. I need my King to have His way in me and in our family.

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