“Why is restoration taking so long? Why are my prayers going unanswered? Why don’t I see any movement?”

Our situations declare this is the perfect time for them to come to their senses and change. Our logic sees the situation, the suffering, how long it has been and we see no other option than it’s the PERFECT time for a Damascus Road experience where God meets your spouse and exposes everything.

And Saul said, Who are You, Lord? And He said, I am Jesus, Whom you are persecuting. It is dangerous and it will turn out badly for you to keep kicking against the goad (pricks) to offer vain and perilous resistance. Acts 9:5 AMPC

These are the famous words of our Beloved Jesus when He encountered Saul on his journey to Damascus. It’s speculated that Saul had been pursuing and persecuting Christians for about 6 years before Jesus came in a blazing light and changed Saul to Paul!

Why so long? 

That is a long time for a man to be out hunting down Christians, having them punished, thrown in prison and killed. Why did Jesus wait so long to encounter him? Our logic says He SHOULD have revealed Himself to Saul much earlier right? 

But was he ready? Would Saul have obeyed had it been a moment sooner? He said he was OBSESSED with his pursuit. 

On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the Lord’s people in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. I was so obsessed with persecuting them that I even hunted them down in foreign cities. Acts 26: 10-11 NIV

It’s all revealed in what Jesus said: “It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” This was an observation, a statement-not a question! A perfectly timed meeting orchestrated by Jesus to ensure the best possible outcome for a man that was causing himself undo pain and peril.

What does Kicking against the pricks, or goads mean?

The PRICKS (goads) were from an ox goad. It’s a pointed stick farmers used on the oxen as they plowed. It was a tool used to teach and help the ox learn to be obedient. The goad was held near the hind legs of the ox, in a position that would ONLY prick and cause pain to the ox. If the ox rebelled and kicked back, or balked and rejected moving forward, it stabbed itself in its rebellion.

Ellicott’s Commentary says this: “that to resist a power altogether superior to our own is a profitless and perilous experiment.”

“With God we may not strive:
But to bow down the willing neck,
And bear the yoke, is wise;
To kick against the pricks will prove
A perilous emprise.” –Pind. Pyth. ii. 173.

Why is restoration taking so long? Why are my prayers going unanswered? Why don’t I see any movement? These are all great and important questions. But what if it’s a really simple answer, simple but horribly hard to endure.

They must go the distance in the experiment of life through their way before they come to a place where they are ready to not only SEE the light but be obedient to it.

They have to come to a place where they are tired of coming in contact over and over with the goad pricking them and they are ready to face that resisting God will do them no good, but bring them increasing peril.

Remember, God is after a greater means to an end. He is after faithfulness that comes through maturity because they have learned the hard life lessons. The immature will encounter God, but still walk away, leaving “home” to live life and figure it out for themselves because they are still full of the lusts of the flesh.

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:8-9

And for some, there is an ever-greater purpose as to why God waits until JUST the right moment when the harvest is ripe and will yield the perfect crop…..because He has a greater plan to use your spouse to bring an even greater harvest.

15 “Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ “‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. 16 ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. 17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ Acts 26 NIV

Trust the time to God. Even when it seems illogical and so much devastation is happening, while it seems that “God is doing nothing!” 

Standing with You,
Sheila Hollinger