Paul was “very much annoyed” :)

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Acts 16:16 One day, as we (Paul, Silas, Luke) were going to the place of prayer, we met a slave-girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners a great deal of money by fortune-telling. 17 While she followed Paul and us, she would cry out, “These men are slaves of the Most High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation.” 18 She kept doing this for many days. But Paul, very much annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I order you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour. 

I love “Paul, very much annoyed…”. What the slave girl was crying out, “These men are slaves of the Most High God…” was true enough. But after a while it obviously irritated Paul, to the point he could not longer ignore it. It may seem strange, but Paul’s annoyance endears him to me. It reveals his humanity. He probably held off as long as he could to avoid stirring up trouble – which is exactly what happened after he confronted the girl.

Sometimes I look upon figures in the bible as if they were super-human, mostly because their stories are so remarkable. But they were just human beings like you and me, with foibles and frailties like everyone else. Somehow that gives me hope that God can use me too.

Oh Lord, throughout history you have used regular people to do extraordinary things. None of us will ever be an Apostle Paul, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have meaningful things for us to do in Jesus’ name. Give us grace to hear your call and to respond in faith. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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