Then he [Barnabas] went to Tarsus to search for Saul, and when he found him he brought him to Antioch. – Acts 11:25-26
After his miraculous (aren’t they all) conversion … after his quick departure from Damascus … after his three years on the backside of an Arabian desert … after a couple of weeks in Jerusalem, Saul eventually made his way back home to Tarsus. Four years after that return, Barnabas came knocking at his door.
Have you ever wondered what Saul was doing in Tarsus before Barnabas found him? Seriously, why would the Apostle to the Gentiles have to be “found?” Though there is some slight historical indication that he might have started there, the Scriptures make no mention of it. At the same time, it really is hard for me to imagine such a zealous missionary remaining silent and inactive. Perhaps in Tarsus, Saul was sharing his testimony of faith, seeking to see his family and friends come to faith, while also learning the steadfastness that his future would require. Yet, as a prophet in his own hometown, he might have only met with resistance and rejection. We don’t really know much, but we do know that when he arrived with Barnabas in Antioch he was ready for whatever God had in mind for his future.
You, too, have been on a journey of faith. I wonder, has it made you available and ready to serve as God desires? Ready to stay? Ready to do His will? I pray it has or that if not, it soon will. Are you ready for whatever God has in mind?
For a small reward, a man will hurry away on a long journey; while for eternal life, many will hardly take a single step. – Thomas a Kempis