The great apostle St. Paul did not always have an easy life. A tent-maker by trade, Paul probably made good wages from his work. Besides, he was a respected Jewish official enjoying a “few perks” from this status. This all changed suddenly on that momentous trip to Damascus when he met Jesus in a vision. After conversion and becoming a full time spokesperson for Christ, Paul’s life got a little less comfortable. Inspired by his deep love for Jesus and Jesus message, Paul spent much of his time on the road preaching and teaching. Paul often find himself with empty pockets, an empty stomach and no place to sleep. Yes indeed, when it came to creature comforts, and how to finance them, Paul definitely had problems. A place we can all relate at one time or another.
However Paul didn’t complain or complain to the Lord saying “You owe me.” Instead he spoke about his financial challenges with trust and peacefulness rather than anxiety and discouragement.
What gave Paul such a great attitude? Paul always knew he was doing what the Lord wanted and desired him to do. When his financial woes got in his way, Paul simply pushed ahead and trusted.
Sooner or later, God interceded or more specifically Paul’s friends came through in God’s place. It was their generosity, whether it be lodging or food, which remedied each od Paul’s financial predicament.
Paul’s friends and this trusting attitude brought the means Paul needed to keep preaching and teaching. It never solved his problems completely, but it was enough for Paul to do what he had to do right then and there.
Paul always believed that Jesus, his savior, who took the time to knock him from his horse and blind him, would also take the time to complete the work he sent him to do. It was God’s work , and therefore, God would make it happen.
What a good lesson for all of us to learn? What a great example Paul is for us in our good and bad times! God gives each of us our lives to do “God’s work”, with it comes the guarantee that God will always help accomplish that work.
Didn’t Jesus say “none of mine will be lost?” Didn’t Jesus promise that he would even leave the ninety-nine simply “to bring home” one lost person? Jesus was always clear about loyalty and faithfulness. Paul shows how we too can remain just as faithful.
When hunger pains growl or “cold nights sleeping on the ground” make us tired and cranky, we learn from St. Paul. We give ourselves a “good shake, set our face forward and move ahead. “
And as with Paul , God will provide the needed “care packages” or “hospitality” to get us through our difficulties. Paul writes: “God will supply what we fully need in accordance with the glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
We all get the same “glorious riches” i.e. the generosity and kindness of others. And like Paul we give back to God “these riches” by sharing them with others through the living and the spreading of our faith.
Paul teaches “I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me.” (Phil 4:13). Paul believed in the strength of Jesus Christ. With this very same strength no matter what happens we too can live each day well!