36 Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” 37 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, 38 but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. 39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord. 41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
As I write this, we are in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. Our daily news feeds bombard us with difficult and fearful information that can make us feel like God is not in control of this world.
As believers, we need to remind ourselves of examples, both in our own personal experiences and in the bible, where God has the last word.
The bible narrative that we are reading today is one such example of God turning something that looks like a problem into something that was part of His bigger plan.
Paul and Barnabas have a dispute over whether they should take Mark with them on their next ministry journey. Their disagreement is so strong that they decide to part ways and go in two different directions.
Oh no! The break-up of the ‘dream team’ Paul and Barnabas – that’s bad, right? Evidently not, as Paul, with his new mate Silas, and Barnabas with his mate Mark were able to multiply their work by going to different locations.
As a side note, is obvious that the dispute did not last forever. Paul later writes concerning what a blessing Mark was to him and he said, “Please send Mark as quickly as possible. He’s been such a blessing to me” (II Timothy 4:11).
We do not downplay the challenges that many are facing at this time, but I am so grateful that God is in control of this world, and that NOTHING – not sickness, and not even death is able to separate us from His love through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Written by Shelley Witt