I plan to do so when I go to Spain. I hope to visit you while passing through and to have you assist me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while. Romans 15:24
Paul was quite the traveler and accomplished many long and arduous missionary journeys in which he helped establish and firm up the early Christian church. However, Paul did not accomplish his missionary journeys without the help of others. Today’s passage presents Paul’s plans to pass through Rome on his way to Spain. He shared his plan in his letter to the church in Rome in the hope of gaining assistance from his brothers and sisters in Christ for this missionary journey.
Without the help of his Christian brothers and sisters, Paul would have been less effective in spreading the gospel throughout the lands bordering the Mediterranean Sea. We also know Paul had a thorn in the flesh that caused him great anguish. As such, Paul received help in many different ways as he spread the gospel.
A few years after my diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, while I was still able to drive safely, my wife and I drove to a seminar at which she was one of the key speakers. On the day we left for the conference, I was having a very good day with great mental clarity, so I drove most of the way. However, I did require her help in navigating and making decisions at crucial points along the route.
You see, Alzheimer’s disease has negatively impacted my decision-making ability. As a result, I am not afraid to ask for and accept help in areas where my abilities are somewhat degraded. Like Paul, I realize in order for me to be successful, I need the loving assistance of others.
Now I am no longer able to drive safely on most days so I have given up driving except for driving my truck around the farm and homestead. I rely on the excellent driving ability of my wife, friends, and other family members to get me to places I need to go and to ministries in which I serve. Alzheimer’s disease may certainly be my “thorn in the flesh” but with the help of others, I am able to continue forward and serve God in many ways! How about you?