Monday, August 29, 2011


I just love this story from Acts that I read in my devotions today (Acts 9). Saul is struck blind when Jesus confronts him on the road to Damascus. He is taken to the city where he remains blind and doesn't eat or drink we are told.

Now the believers in Damascus were fearing Saul's arrival as he was coming to arrest as many followers as he could. And God speaks to a believer named Ananias. He is told to go and see Saul to lay hands on him and healing him. Could you imagine? We really don't know much about Ananias. Maybe he often heard God speaking to him and had built up a relationship of trust already around the words he heard. Maybe this was a first for Ananias to hear the word of God so directly. We do know that he was sensible. He responds first by saying, "Um, Saul, are you sure? He is going around arresting believers and is pretty dangerous!" And yet, he didn't let his sensibility stand in the way of following Jesus. Once he was sure he was listening clearly, he got up and went.

He prophesied to Saul, healed him, and witnessed Saul receiving the Holy Spirit. What an awesome role to play. Saul (or Paul as we can now call him) was arguably the greatest person in the Christian faith after Jesus. And Ananias got to play a pivotal role in it's beginnings. I think we get so caught up some times in how we don't feel we can play a big role in this world like Paul. I could never do all that he did! But we can all live like Ananias. We can also listen for God's voice and do the things in life that are simple. They may take faith in stepping out into the unknown, but they can be simple, daily tasks. We might not see the huge impact they have but God knows what he is asking of us.

I am always struck by the names of people in the Bible. It is part of the reason I took naming my children so seriously. Ananias means "Yahweh is gracious." And that is exactly the message he carried to Paul. So what can I do today to carry out the message God has given to me?

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