Paul’s epistle to the Romans exists largely because of an unfulfilled desire in the heart of the Apostle.
“I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end you may be established” (Romans 1:11).
At the time of his writing Romans, Paul had not been able to visit Rome because of other God - ordained responsibilities.
“So have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation: but as it is written, To whom He was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand. For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you” (Romans 15:20-22).
Had Paul been able to fulfill his natural inclination to visit the believers of Rome, there would have been little reason for his writing the most detailed doctrinal treatise of the New Testament. Lack of opportunity for one thing opened a door for the Holy Spirit to create a greater thing that blessed not merely a company of the faithful in one venue, but millions upon millions throughout the world.
Paul likely did not know that his letter would become a portion of Scripture. Nor do we know how our lack of opportunity to do things we’d love to do will lead to God’s production of greater things that bless far more people than fulfilled inclinations would allow. Of course, one might say, “But I’m not the Apostle Paul.” True, but then, “God is not a respecter of persons,” meaning that all who trust the Lord Jesus Christ and seek to honor Him become the subjects of His working to reveal Himself and His truth (Acts 10:34). Just as Paul may not have recognized that his writing to Rome would become the holy Writ of the Bible, so we may not recognize the importance of our doings as led and enabled by the Spirit of God.
“Heavenly Father, the path we would choose lies closed before us. We feel disappointment, and wish it would open. But if not, we choose to believe that You purpose a different and greater destination whereby You will be far more honored in us, and others will be blessed by us. So we trust and submit ourselves to You in the confidence that unfulfilled desires portend of glories that our own minds could never conceive or fathom. Thy will be done, Father, in the name of the Lord Jesus, Amen.”
“A man’s heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth his steps.”