Once they got to Macedonia, there was good; and there was bad. They met Lydia - a true blessing. And then they met a deomon-possessed fortune teller who taunted them. When she came to know the Lord, her masters knew the loss of revenue they would suffer and caused a huge uprising against Paul and Silas and they were wrongly accused and tossed in a jail cell.
Of course, God worked even that out for good as when they praised Him from that dark, prison cell, He loved it so much He joined in with them! The earth began to respond when earth's praise met heaven's joy and everything started shaking and they were set free and many people were saved.
In light of the good that came out of that - it's interesting what Paul said about their Macedonian trip. In 2 Corinthians 7:5, Paul says this: When we arrived in Macedonia there was no rest for us. Outside there was conflict from every direction, and inside there was fear.
What? THE Apostle Paul said that? When so much good was going on and so many were coming to know the Lord? Yes. Even though we have no record of his emotional journey to Macedonia, he reveals his fears to his readers later on. I'd have to say that in many ways as a caregiver, I feel conflict on every side and fear inside. A lot.
The next verse in 2 Corinthians 7 though says this: But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus. We need more Tituses. Most of us in a caregiving position are not going to be blessed with a Titus, a fellow believer, who will come and encourage us today. But God is faithful and He's creative too - He will find a way to bring encouragement.
For me today, it was in finding the lyrics to a song I wrote back in 1988. Here are the lyrics: