Wednesday Walk & Talk: Walking With Paul
Our weekly Walk & Talk takes place each Wednesday at the Western Mall from 11:00 am to noon with Pastor Pat and Jana (our Congregational Care Coordinator). Our current topic is Walking With Paul, exploring the book of Acts.
Wednesday, May 9
Left for Dead
Excerpted from the book Walking With Paul: Six Weeks of Devotions for Body and Spirit from Church Health (Memphis, TN)
We might think that Paul and Barnabas were physically safe in Lystra-even though the people there misunderstood the message cradled by the miracle of healing the man who was lame. But the Jewish leaders who had incited mobs in Antioch and Iconium now arrived in Lystra, and the tide turned quickly. The crowd that was so eager to worship Paul and Barnabas was soon enough convinced to stone them. Paul was stoned, dragged outside the city limits, and left for dead.
But others in Lystra who believed in Jesus did not abandon him. Instead they surrounded Paul, and Luke tells us that Paul got up and went back into the city! Luke does not say that the others carried Paul but that he got up from a stoning brutal enough that he was supposed dead. He went into the city, and he was well enough that the very next day he was able to travel with Barnabas to Derbe.
What a beautiful picture of the healing power of community! When we gather around each other, we give each other a place of belonging, healing touches, a hedge against the discouragements that threaten, and safe passage to the next season of what God calls us to do. Even in our most extreme experiences, when we might be tempted to admit defeat, the people around us can be the ones to help us to our feet and give us a fresh vision of the path to healing and wholeness.
If you’re training for a long race—whatever long is for you- physical conditioning matters. But long distance runners will say that endurance is at least as emotional as it is physical. When you think about the healthy changes you are working on making, make sure you are staying in good condition emotionally for success. Take a few minutes to concentrate on breathing and reminding yourself of why you have chosen your healthy goals.