Get Back in the Game by Delores Sanan
The 14th chapter of Acts provides an account of Paul ministering in the midst of a great crowd. The scripture indicates that “the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren.” Others present included those who worshipped other gods, Zeus and Hermes, whom they believed Paul and Barnabas to be, once they witnessed the miracle -a man crippled from his mother’s womb was healed and able to walk. Now those who worshipped other gods wanted to make a sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas, to which they quickly made it known, they were not gods, but rather, agents or witnesses for the true and living God. On the one hand the enemy struck with this attack, then on the other side, Paul found himself being stoned by an angry mob. Note this passage, “Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. But while the disciples stood around him, he got up and entered the city."Acts 14:19-20
While it is amazing that Paul lived through this incident, what’s more amazing is that he got up and went back into the city. One must realize the severity of stoning. It is a form of persecution that is meant to kill – not mangle the individual. Clearly his partners thought he was a goner. The average person would expect a wounded person to go somewhere to have their wounds tended to. But, Paul didn’t. He went right back ministering to the people.
At some point in time, we all get wounded. These wounds may take different forms and shapes. At such times, we find we are not Super Saints and are subject to suffering. With this realization, many will want to throw in the towel and just give up. But we must remember the warfare never stops. When God cursed the serpent, he said, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” In other words, from this day forward, “it’s on.” There will be times when you’ll feel really good about ministering to someone, and later you might hear that same individual saying really cruel things about you. Don’t let situations like this make you give up. Continue to plant those seeds. One thing we should all be mindful of, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ suffered so much more. Each time he fell going up that hill to his crucifixion, he got up. He could have taken himself out of the game. Like Christ, we must press on in the face of persecution – we just have to get back in the game!