6 Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. 8 So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
In the movie Finding Nemo, one of the characters is known to say, “Just keep swimming...” Through the various challenges faced on the journey, she would sing-songingly suggest they, “Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.” It was at times encouraging and at times annoying. 2020 might have felt similar, at times encouraging, at times annoying, and generally an exercise in “just keep swimming.”
Paul and his companions were kept from preaching the word, then not allowed to enter another place, and finally a vision in the night opened a door for their continued ministry. Nemo kept swimming. Paul and his companions kept going. We too, can keep pressing on when the way seems long, or challenging, when opportunities are closed, or our ministry hindered. An open door could be as close as a dream this week.
Take a few moments to consider areas that have seemed to keep you from where you thought you were headed, let any disappointment or discouragement be trusted to God’s care. Pray for your own life and ministry to experience refreshed perseverance to “just keep swimming...” Pray for open doors of ministry in your church, community, and beyond.
Jen is Young Adults Pastor at Northside Church in Coquitlam, BC. She also teaches a couple courses at Pacific Life Bible College and enjoys being in the classroom - on both sides of the desk! She also enjoys being outside on mountains or by ocean.