“As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time; but he will come when he shall have convenient time.”
I Corinthians 16:12
This is an interesting situation. Paul was writing the church of Corinth, and he mentioned the possibility of Apollos visiting them. Paul “greatly desired” that Apollos visit the brethren in Corinth. This was something that Paul felt strongly about. However, Apollos was not willing to come; “his will was not at all to come at this time.” Paul added this comment, “he will come when he shall have convenient time.” It would seem to me, that if anyone should get what he wanted, it should be the apostle Paul. However, he was not able to persuade Apollos to make the trip at that time. At another time, Apollos would come.
There are several things worthy of our attention in the text before us. As the title indicates, none of us are always going to get our way. Paul certainly understood this. As much as he wanted Apollos to come, the fact remained that Apollos also had a will. We need to remember this in our Christian journey. As much as we may want things to happen, and as strongly as we may feel that it would be beneficial, none of us will always have it our way. Too many times in churches, people get hurt or offended because they do not get their way.
God gave each of us the ability to make choices and decisions. In this case, Paul’s opinion differed from that of Apollos. Yet, Paul knew that he was not a dictator. He could advise Apollos and give him his opinions and desires, but he could not make his decisions for him. Paul respected the right of Apollos to disagree. We need the same grace in our lives and relationships. People will not always agree, and we must respect their right to decide.
We also see the important matter of timing in God’s will. Although Apollos was not willing to go “at this time,” that did not mean he would not come at all. Because something is not happening in our world now does not mean that it will never happen. There are times that we would like to see certain things done, yet they do not develop, as we would wish. Do not lose hope. Perhaps God has a reason for the delay. If it is God’s will, it will happen at another time. We must learn to trust the Lord. It is His will that we want, and it is His timing that is best.