Blooming Where Planted

17 “After an absence of several years, I came to Jerusalem to bring my people gifts for the poor and to present offerings. 18 I was ceremonially clean when they found me in the temple courts doing this. There was no crowd with me, nor was I involved in any disturbance. 19 But there are some Jews from the province of Asia, who ought to be here before you and bring charges if they have anything against me. 20 Or these who are here should state what crime they found in me when I stood before the Sanhedrin— 21 unless it was this one thing I shouted as I stood in their presence: ‘It is concerning the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you today.'”

22 Then Felix, who was well acquainted with the Way, adjourned the proceedings. “When Lysias the commander comes,” he said, “I will decide your case.” 23 He ordered the centurion to keep Paul under guard but to give him some freedom and permit his friends to take care of his needs.

24 Several days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus. 25 As Paul talked about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.” 26 At the same time he was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe, so he sent for him frequently and talked with him.

27 When two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, but because Felix wanted to grant a favor to the Jews, he left Paul in prison. Acts24:17-27

Paul was speaking to a Roman ruler about Jewish matters. Felix was probably bored by it all so he threw him in prison but without harsh treatment. He expected Paul to bribe his way out of prison like so many others had done.

Felix’s wife, Drusilla, was a Jew. Even though Felix didn’t care about Paul, Drusilla listened and wanted to know more. We’ll never know about the seeds Paul planted those two years in prison. He did have more freedom than most political prisoners but he was still locked up and could not leave.

Of course it wasn’t fair at all, but Paul undoubtedly made the best use of his time. As visitors came and left, he continued teaching and preaching (to his guards without them realizing it). Paul seemed to be adapting to the age old saying, “Bloom where you’re planted.”

What about you? Stuck in a meaningless, frustrating job? Drifting through life without aims or goals? Millions have people have been given the advice to “bloom where you’re planted” but very few have actually taken that advice. What’s important for Christians is that we recognize our work is our ministry whether we realize it or not.

Being content in whatever situation you find yourself in is critical for inner peace. It’s certainly not as easy as it sounds, but it is necessary.

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