What I’m Thinking: Unexpected Courage

We think of it as the story of Paul’s conversion – but it is also the story of Ananias’ faith and courage.

Here’s a transcript:

I’m thinking about the ninth chapter of Acts of the Apostles (Acts 9:1-20). If we wanted to give it a title, I suppose it would be the conversion of Saul of Tarsus.

Now, Saul had been an exceptionally devout person throughout his life And as he encountered this new emerging religious movement, he was just bitterly disapproving, and in fact gained some authority from those who had the ability to give it to go about and arrest these people and bring them in front of the Temple courts for punishment.

The movement that he was so concerned about is the one that we now call Christianity. In those days it was simply known as “the Way.”

On his way to Damascus, however – we find this story here in chapter nine – Saul of Tarsus had an experience, heard a voice speaking. The voice said that this was Jesus, whom he’d been persecuting. The experience left Saul without the ability to see.

There was a follower of the Way in Damascus by the name of Ananias. Ananias also heard a voice and this voice told him to go to a house on Straight Street to visit a man named Saul and to there pray with him so he could regain his vision.

Ananias – Ananias had the curious distinction of being one of those in the Scriptures recorded as daring to argue with God. I mean, Abraham did a little; Moses there at the burning bush did his level best. And here we have Ananias, whose story is known… that is, we know nothing more about Ananias than this story. Ananias said, Now wait a minute, this Saul, he’s the one who’s been doing all these horrible things to the People of the Way. Are you sure about this, God?

When God went on to say that there were plans for this Saul of Tarsus, Ananias was, well, talked into it. His arguments disappeared.

I don’t know how often in your life something happens and you find yourself facing a situation you would rather not face, but knowing that if you do not face it that good things will not happen or that bad things will happen. I don’t know how often you find yourself in the place of Ananias.

I do hope that when those occasions come along, you have the courage to argue (if only a little bit) with God. But also that you find the courage to follow God’s direction and to bring some healing even into unexpected lives.

We know Saul of Tarsus by a different name. Writing in Greek, he used the Greek name of Paulus; we know that as Paul. Of Ananias, we know only this one thing: that when he was asked, he brought God’s healing. And because he brought God’s healing, great things took place.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear what you’re thinking. Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you.

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: , | Posted on April 25, 2022

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