A Long Scrawl (Acts 20:7-10)

I was rifling through my personal records the other day and stumbled upon a notebook from a college class. Intrigued, I opened the now yellowing pages and saw the familiar chicken-scratch penmanship that I attempted to pass off as handwriting. Clearly, I was on my way to becoming a physician! I perused the pages of a long-forgotten lecture and attempted to decipher the topic of the lecture. As I surveyed the pages, my eyes were riveted to an unusual pattern on one page. A serpiginous and long scrawl interrupted the notes and trailed off the edge of the sheet. Curious, I read the preceding notes which stated, “increased likelihood tha..~~~~~~~~~~~~~~”

 

I had fallen asleep!

 

It certainly wasn’t the first time I had done this but this was irrefutable evidence. During this period of my life, I was suffering from a severe allergic rhinitis and the only medication I could take to relieve the symptoms would also make me very drowsy. It was only after the semester was over that a new anti-histamine medication was available that no longer had this same side effect. I had forgotten about these few months of suffering until this day. This seemingly insignificant scrawl brought back a flood of memories of that period in my life and reinforced the reality of the events.

 

On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight. There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered. And a young man named Eutychus, sitting at the window, sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer. And being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. But Paul went down and bent over him, and taking him in his arms, said, “Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.”

Acts 20:7-10 (ESV)

 

This unusual incident was recorded in the book of Acts by the Holy Spirit, as observed by Dr. Luke, traveling with the Apostle Paul on his missionary journeys. Amusing, tragic, all of the above, but thankfully God had mercy on this young man, Eutychus, and used Paul to raise him from the dead. Ironically, the name Eutychus means fortunate, in the original Greek! Indeed he was.

 

I sometimes wonder why God includes seemingly trivial events, such as Eutychus, in the Bible. Yet, it is these same incidents that bring the Bible to life. The Bible records amazing miracles of God and most importantly, presents the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ for everyone who confesses and repents of their sins and accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. But the Bible also records very real and seemingly ordinary events of life and this reinforces its credibility as a true eyewitness account of what actually happened thousands of years ago. These anecdotes demonstrate God’s story of redemption and reconciliation is for all people, transcending both the mundane and extraordinary events of life.

 

God’s Word is perfect and complete!

 

Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.

 

 

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