It’s hard to see people go. When God works in a way that someone we love moves on, it hurts. Sometimes a job takes them away, sometimes it’s family. Sometimes God just works in their hearts to do something different.
It’s easy to get angry about moments like this and turn selfish. Paul and Barnabas were feeling God tug at them to go start new churches. This church at Antioch could have gotten angry, they could have fought back, they could have begged them to stay. They didn’t. I’m sure they were sad. I’m sure they didn’t want things to change. But they knew God was involved. He would do something great. He would make things work, and if he was truly leading the church he would raise up other leaders. He would make sure they had everything they needed and he would use Barnabas and Paul in a different way.
Sometimes when God does something, it’s hard to get on board. We struggle with selfishness. We struggle with the unknown. We struggle because we’re comfortable. However, it’s in changes like the one we see here that God does amazing things. It’s when people are willing to listen to his leading and not rely on their own comfort that God’s kingdom moves. It’s in these uncomfortable, but God led, moments that we see lives truly changed for the gospel.
The people prayed for them. They sent them off joyfully. They were sad to see them go, but they were also excited about the potential God had for their future.
What is God doing in your life now? What changes might need to be made? Are you fighting him or accepting his direction joyfully?