THE PILLOW I LAY MY HEAD DOWN AT NIGHT IS THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD
The farmer who drives oxen needs a goad. Because of the stubborn nature of the beast it is the tool he uses to keep the ox going the way he wants it to. He drives the goad into its backside and pricks it.
When Paul was on the Damascus road many years before the question was:
"Why do you kick against the pricks?"
The night was dark. The moon was casting its light softly and the water was still. The movement of the sea was barely visible.
A man knelt by the shore. He looked across at the sea and prayed. He had traveled many miles that day and his body was aching in weariness. His fellow travelers were asleep behind him. The night was silent except for the sound of his voice barely above a whisper as he prayed.
He was pleading for direction.
Every turn they had made had been blocked.
Should they continue?
Everything had seemed so clear to him.
Everything had felt right.
What would he tell his men?
Where would he go in the morning?
He was a passionate man full of deep yearning and desire to move in the morning to deliver his message.
The Messiah had come!
The gate of the Kingdom had been opened and he held the key to the gate in his heart.
Go in to all the world was the command.
How could he obey?
Finally in exhaustion and with no answers he threw himself on his bed and fell into a deep sleep.
In a distant world another man prayed across the sea.
It was the homeland of King Phillip of Macedon. Alexander the Great was his son.
In his son's genius the whole of the civilized world would be made part of the Greek empire.
There was never a culture as brilliant and glorious or that had reached such heights.
For poetry they had Homer and Sappho. For philosophy they had Socrates.
For religion was the seven wonders of the world.
All music and every form of the arts would have been stunningly beautiful.
Seemingly they lacked nothing.
Everything was religiously motivated. In the time of Paul there were more then 30,000 gods in Athens.
Powerless, the gods were as impotent as the people themselves.
All of it was dead husks in their hands.
In the middle of this land in all of this opulence and on the very hour of the night while Paul slept a lone man cried:
"Come over and help us!"
On the other side of the sea Paul sat up from bed wakened by the cry.
A man was standing in front of him.
He saw him dressed in the clothes of his country and speaking in the Macedonian dialect.
Begging and pleading to him to come and help.
A symbolic righteous Lot in the middle of Sodom.
Paul immediately jumped out of his bed.
He had the answer to his prayer.
In front of Paul was a door that had been opened.
The Mighty Hand of God had opened the door
*This story is based on Acts 16.
"God's purposes will ripen fast
Unfolding every hour
The bud will have a bitter taste
But sweet will be the flower
God is his own interpreter
And He will make it plain
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face
Oh God we trust in You
Oh God we trust in You
When tears are great
And comforts few
We hope in mercies ever new
We trust in You"
- William Cowper