Just finished my morning bible reading from Acts 9 and this chapter packs a lot of amazing stuff! Saul's conversion on the Damascus Road, Ananias receiving a vision and instructions to go see Saul, Barnabas working to convince the other disciples that Saul is sincere in his new beliefs, Peter healing the crippled and raising the dead! That's a lot of stuff!
The question I found myself asking is, of all these characters, with whom do I most identify with? I was raised in the Faith so I never had a Damascus Rd experience. But people like Ananias, Barnabas and Peter?
Ananias has a vision. And with it specific instructions. Go see this fire breathing man who has been trying to destroy the gospel and those who share it. I like how Ananias does a little 'but God" shtick before he decides to obey God's instructions. It shows he is afraid and unsure. That comforts me because often I feel afraid and unsure of what I may be hearing... do you really want me to do that Lord? Yet, Ananias eventually obeys and because of this, Saul's eyesight is restored and Ananias faith is increased.
Barnabas, known as the encourager. How often have I been encouraged by the Barnabas' in my life? And have I ever had the opportunity to be a Barnabas? I should and can be one. Because of Barnabas, the other disciples come to accept Saul as one of them and that made a huge difference in the lives and community of believers.
Then there is Peter. Oh, how I identify with Peter. Foot-in-his-mouth- impetuous impulsive Peter. He makes me laugh even as he offers reassurance that God can and will and does use everyone, even those who fall down.... But this is a much different Peter than we know from the gospel chapters. This is Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit and he is preaching with authority and healing the sick and the lame and-- what's this? A dead woman brought back to life? Amazing!
How can God use me? Can I be obedient in listening to the instructions He gives me? Can I be an encourager? Can I pray in faith for healing?
I want to be. Lord Jesus, please help me be the woman you designed me to be.