Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.

—Acts 28:30-31

After an arduous voyage from Israel to Rome, which included a dramatic storm and shipwreck, Paul arrived in one piece.  He was still a prisoner, but by the kind Providence of God he was allowed to maintain his own household under house arrest.

This situation lasted two whole years!

We need not wonder if this was what Paul envisioned when four years earlier he was arrested in Jerusalem for preaching Christ in Jerusalem. (that’s right, he sat in a prison cell in Caesarea for two years waiting to have his case heard before being transferred to Rome.)

Though this is not the main point of the narrative, this encourages me not to “marry my plans.”  It is good to make plans, but we best write them in pencil because we cannot foresee what might force a change in our beloved plans.

I am further encouraged that while Paul was under house arrest in Rome, that didn’t stop him from preaching Christ.  It wasn’t where he wanted to be, and it wasn’t under the circumstances any of us would have chosen, but that didn’t stop Paul from serving the Lord. 

Two adages come to mind. 

The first is: “Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be broken.” Let us be patient when life does not materialize as we envisioned it.

The second is: “Bloom where you are planted.”  The Lord will use us for His glory, even if it isn’t the way we pictured it!