Bloody, Bruised, and Broken

“They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. After the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city”  Acts 14:19-20 (NIV)

Paul was speaking and ministering to the people in Lystra. The fickle crowd went from wanting to worship Paul, to being persuaded to throw stones at him. Sounds like Ohio State football, or Philadelphia baseball fans.

I can picture Paul lying on the ground with blood, bruises, and broken bones. They thought he was dead. He came back to consciousness, stood up, and went back into the city! He had a mission, a focus, a goal, a passion, and a lot of guts. I’m sure he didn’t feel like going back in, but he did.

There are days we know what we need to do, but we are pummeled. Hit by figurative stones from bosses, friends, co-workers, neighbors, enemies, illness…, and the heaviest ones from those we love. We feel bloody, bruised, and broken. We don’t feel like moving forward, we want to escape, sulk, complain, fight, or just quit.

How did Paul do it? Why did he go back in? He had the right perspective that life is a side-issue compared to eternity. Time is short, and he is just passing through to a great place. He also tapped into God’s strength. The prayer,“I can’t, but Lord, You can”, needs to be paramount in our minds. Feelings didn’t control Paul. His perspective, mission, and God’s energy did.


Heavenly Father, I can’t, but You can. Give me Your perspective and energy. Thank You for heaven. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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