St. Patrick: Obedience in the Face of Difficulty
St. Patrick: Obedience in the Face of Difficulty

St. Patrick: Obedience in the Face of Difficulty

Let me introduce you to St. Patrick, a 5th century Christian missionary to Ireland.

You are most likely familiar with the holiday celebrated in honour of St. Patrick on March 17th.

But did you know, as a teenager he was kidnapped from his homeland of Britain and taken as a slave to Ireland?

After a difficult 6 years of slavery, in which Patrick grew to truly know and trust God, he escaped and was reunited with his family.

The Irish Sea
The Irish Sea

Patrick’s story could have ended happily ever after at this point, but God had other plans for him.

A Risky Calling

Patrick had a dream that the Irish were begging him to come back to Ireland and tell them about the One true God. He knew God was asking him to go back, a calling which involved a lot of risk.

As a runaway slave, Patrick could easily be caught and killed. Plus, the people of Ireland already had their own religion and might not take kindly to a foreigner spreading his faith.

Faith Despite Fear

Despite his fears and having to leave behind his family again, Patrick chose to trust God and made the voyage back to Ireland. God blessed Patrick’s faithful obedience and over a period of 29 years of ministry, “He baptized over 120,000 Irishmen and planted 300 churches.” *

How Should We Respond?

What can we learn from St. Patrick’s life that will help us in our own journey of faith and obedience?

St. Patrick Made His Voyage by Boat
St. Patrick Made His Voyage by Boat
  • Take The First Step

What is the hardest part of obedience?

Often it is simply starting. Taking that first step outside our comfort zone and trusting that God will work through it.

St. Patrick did not just sit back and wait for the perfect time to obey God’s voice. He took his first step by training to become a missionary.

We may not know what everything will look like ahead of time, but we can do what is right in front of us. Who knows what that first step of faith may lead to next?

  • It Is Not Always Easy

You might be thinking: “That was a great story, but I could never be like St. Patrick! Everything turned out great for him.”

Well… not quite!

St. Patrick’s obedience to God did not mean that missionary life was easy for him. His calling involved many difficulties along the way. He faced: disapproval of those closest to him, persecution, imprisonment and disappointment.

You will no doubt face hardships but don’t let that keep you from obeying God’s voice.

  • Finishing The Race Is Worth It

St. Patrick trusted God to work despite his fear and experienced God transforming others through his life of obedience. We may not see it this side of eternity, but our obedience to God can have a significant impact on those He has called us to serve.

Don’t allow the fears and difficulties you may face keep you from focusing on the end goal as we read in Philippians 3:13-14:

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Ancient Irish Chapel
Ancient Irish Chapel

Now it is your turn.

What difficult thing is God asking you to do?

Let us know what first step you will take today to obey His voice.

We would love to hear from you.

Please comment below.

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