I’m sure at one time or another we’ve all been called on to help someone. A lift is needed, an errand, help with a task that needs more than one person… Or we’ve had to call on someone to help us. Usually if someone can help, they will. They respond to the call.
Acts 16:9-15 (CEV)
9 During the night, Paul had a vision of someone from Macedonia who was standing there and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we began looking for a way to go to Macedonia. We were sure that God had called us to preach the good news there.
Lydia Becomes a Follower of the Lord
11 We sailed straight from Troas to Samothrace, and the next day we arrived in Neapolis. 12 From there we went to Philippi, which is a Roman colony in the first district of Macedonia.
We spent several days in Philippi. 13 Then on the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to a place by the river, where we thought there would be a Jewish meeting place for prayer. We sat down and talked with the women who came. 14 One of them was Lydia, who was from the city of Thyatira and sold expensive purple cloth. She was a worshiper of the Lord God, and he made her willing to accept what Paul was saying. 15 Then after she and her family were baptized, she kept on begging us, “If you think I really do have faith in the Lord, come stay in my home.” Finally, we accepted her invitation.
So here we see how Peters vision about not putting up barriers about God’s work begins to come into its own. Lydia is most probably a Greek, a sympathiser, but no Jew. Paul is “called over” to Macedonia. There is no indication that he had intended going there, but he responds to God’s call.
Paul, Silas and Timothy had been travelling round preaching. They had tried to go to Bithynia, but the Spirit had stopped them. Now they find out why. There is work to be done in Macedonia, which in turn becomes the launch pad for a whole new branch of God’s mission – from Asia to Europe. If Paul had not responded to this vision, Christianity may have remained where it was born. It may have fizzled out. But Paul heard the call and responded – and the rest is history.
Sometimes responding to one small call for help can lead to something so much bigger. A friendship can blossom and grow; a need can be acknowledged and responded to; a ministry can begin or take a different path.
What is God calling me to come and help with today?
What might be starting?
If I don’t respond, what will happen?
may I listen,
that I may hear the call
to come and help.
As I hear,
may I listen,