"And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles."
From beginning to end the Scriptures are filled with instances where God has to allow persecution into the lives of His people to get their attention, draw them back to Himself and be obedient to His commands. I've always looked at the Israelites and thought to myself how foolish they were to keep straying from God and have to be put into distress to be turned around. But now as I look back over my own life I differ none from them. When do I desperately run to God? In need! When do I enthusiastically dig into His Word? In distress! When do I sincerely seek answers? In frustration! But the most amazing thing is that God is always there just patiently waiting for me! No matter how many times I stray! Oh, I would learn to turn to Him in love, not in need! Dig into His word out of love, not out of distress! Seek His answers for wisdom, not for relief from frustration! May I learn to dwell in His presence consistently!