The Apostle Paul spent a lot of time imprisoned for preaching the Gospel, but he had an interesting view of that time. He said in Philippians 1:12-13, “I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ.” Almost 25% of Paul’s active ministry to the Gentiles was spent in jail, but this is exactly where God wanted Paul to be.
The word “vocation” literally means “calling.” For us Christians, our vocation means where God has called us to be. The great and mighty “Apostle to the Gentiles,” the man who performed numerous outstanding miracles, the man who met with the resurrected Christ on numerous occasions, Paul’s calling for those years of his ministry was to be in prison. Our vocations from God may not always be easy for us. For example, a woman who is a stay-at-home mother, who is going on four hours of sleep, doesn’t receive a medal for her work. No matter how many diapers she changes or spit up she cleans, there are no heavenly trumpets for her. But still, this is where God has called her. This is her divine vocation at this point in her life.
Each and every one of you has a vocation, or a calling, from God. Not sure what that is? Just look at your lives. You may be called by God to work a 9-5 job. That is your vocation. You may be called right now by God to spend your final years in a retirement home. That is still your vocation from God. So, what is our reaction to our callings from God going to be? We could sit around and bemoan our vocation. Paul could have whined that he was in prison; he could have grumbled that he wasn’t being allowed to do something more glamorous in worldly eyes. From that calling to be in prison, Paul was able to witness to all those around him of the mercy of Christ. You also can be like Paul. You can accept your various vocations as callings from God. And from those vocations, you can serve God faithfully and, in doing so, give a witness to those around you of the love of Christ.