Galatians 1:13-18 English Standard Version (ESV)
13 For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. 14 And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, 16 was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus. 18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days.
This is Saul, also called Paul, the apostle of Jesus Christ. Note carefully of his zealous Judaism. He knew how the Jews were taught and knew how they thought. Knowing the minds of the Jews one might think that he should be sent to the Jews. Even this early in his conversion Paul knew he was called to preach to the Gentiles. Since he was familiar with Judaism, how would he learn the Gentiles thoughts and what were they taught? Perhaps this is why Paul was away from this ministry for three years.
We can speculate all we want about Paul’s three years but the scriptures are closed on these matters. All we know is that he spent time with non-Jews. What is important at this moment of Paul’s return to minister to the Gentiles is him seeking out Peter. Peter’s ministry was to bring Christ to the Jews. This might have seemed to be a job better suited to Paul as Peter was a fisherman.
How is it that God chooses to use us where we are not well suited?