A wry smile tugged at the weathered corners of the ancient Apostle Paul’s lips as he unfolded a wrinkled letter and recognized a familiar script. The opening line, in extra-large print, brought both a chuckle to his heart and a tear to his eye.
It was from Titus.
He had left Titus on the little, Mediterranean island of Crete to pastor a fledgling congregation that had been launched there during a missionary venture. Although young and still relatively inexperienced, Titus was full of passion, courage, and faith and it had seemed right to Paul to leave him with the task of pastoring the new converts. It had been many months since Paul had heard from his spiritual son, and although he knew the task would be difficult, he still felt a pang of concern when he read Titus’ first words.
“Dear Paul…why have you left me here?”
There was no, “Dear Paul, how are things in Jerusalem” or “I miss you Paul, and wish you were here with me sun-tanning on the beach.” There was just a raw, desperate, heart-cry: “Paul, what were you thinking? Why, for the love of God, did you leave me here?”
“The glamour has faded!”
“The excitement has worn off!”
“This isn’t what I signed up for when I responded to the word of the Lord.”
“I don’t understand what God is doing.”
“I want to come home.”
Have you ever been Titus? Have you ever followed a word from the Lord only to find yourself, not basking in its completion, but struggling with sunstroke as you try to make sense of why it hasn’t happened yet? Has the glamour worn off of your current assignment? Are you scouring the Internet for a cheap, return home ticket?
Paul’s steady hand began to pen his reply…