And maybe Paul knew something most of us don’t; that sometimes the Spirit works instantly and other times the Spirit takes a lifetime. That faith is a process of fits and starts, peaks and valleys, and ups and downs. Faith grows and shrinks. Expands and contracts. Faith never stands still. Faith bursts bubbles and pushes boundaries. Faith is always moving, challenging old thinking and creating new expressions.
Paul knew how messy life and faith could be. He trusted people’s journeys. But he never compromised the message of the faith. He knew that Jesus really did die and he really did rise from the dead, and these events took Christianity out of the realm of philosophical speculation and dropped it into flesh and blood human experience. He knew that the God who raised Jesus from the dead was the God of history. He knew that the God of the empty tomb is the God of life.