God does some strange things. In the Old Testament, we see him speak through a donkey. He uses strange people to do weird things and deliver odd messages. However, the book of Acts contains one of the craziest stories about God using someone you’d never expect.
As Saul was on his way to Damascus to find those who had started these churches, God shows up in a very real way and stops his in his path. He knocks him to the ground, blinds him, and speaks to him about what is to come.
God then sends another believer to come to Saul, tell him the gospel, and baptize him.
It’s what Saul’s life is being saved for is what interests me the most here. God told Ananias that Saul would need to know how much he would suffer for God’s sake. His life, his ministry, what we know as the great missionary trips of Paul to start the churches and to write most of our New Testament would begin with nothing more than knowledge from God that the life ahead is going to be hard and you’re going to suffer and it’s not so you get better. It’s not because I have a bigger plan for you. It’s not because you’re a special guy. It’s not at all about you. You’re going to suffer and it’s for my sake.
When we really focus in on this, along with so much of what Paul said about living for Christ, and about wanting to be with Christ here but continuing for the church’s sake, you get the idea he knew very early on that he was in for a rough ride and the end results were going to be all about God and not about him. Yet he signed up. Yet he decided to go. He accepted, he was baptized, and his life was never the same. Knowing what lay ahead, he made the choice to follow. I partially think this is because he knew what came after. He knew what was after the life of struggle and suffer and torture and he knew it was worth it. He knew what was at the end of his race so he pressed on. Whatever it was, whatever might come, wherever the chips may fall, Jesus was worth it.
Can you honestly say the same?