I was reading Romans 1:11-13 the other day. Here is the text…
“I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong–that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.”
This passage talks about Paul’s longing or deep desire to visit Rome and meet with the Christians there. Bible scholars tell us that up until this point Paul had not been to Rome. He tells them that he eagerly wanted to encourage the people there and impart spiritual gifts to them.
In this passage we also see that Paul had been prevented from attending Rome in person. Some commentators say he was prevented by God’s sovereign hand guiding him, while others say it was because of his work in other places amongst the Gentiles.
Regardless of why Paul could not visit Rome, the thing I find interesting is that his desire to visit and his being prevented from doing so, meant that he penned what we know now as the Book of Romans.
Centuries later the Book of Romans is one of the great explanations of the Christian faith. It talks about sin, our inability to save ourselves, Christ’s death on the cross for sin, salvation through faith in Christ, having peace with God and being a living sacrifice for God. It is a priceless work.
So how does this related to us today? In my own life I have had times when I have been prevented from doing things I wanted to do. Sometimes the delays that have taken place, have caused me to do others things that have been very successful and advanced the Kingdom of God. God used the delay to focus my mind on other good things.
So today if you are waiting for something to take place of if you are being delayed, don’t worry. God may be using you to other things that are very valuable for His Kingdom. It may not be like writing the Book of Romans, but it might be something very important too!