A Life Less Ordinary | Wayne Massey
1 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’
5 ‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asked.
‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. 6 ‘Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.’
7 The men travelling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
A Life less ordinary
When Saul set out on the road to Damascus, he was intent on arresting every follower of Jesus that he could find. A dramatic encounter with the risen Christ changed his life for ever. Some Christians are able to describe the moment when they discovered Jesus; for others that isn’t possible, but they simply know his love in their lives. Whether dramatic or gradual, discovering Jesus’ reality is what matters.
Saul discovered that God not only forgave him, but that he loved and wanted him. God loves each one of us – he created us for a loving relationship. Each of us is loveable, and has a part we can play in God’s plan and purpose. We don’t need to prove ourselves before we are acceptable to him. Jesus has done it for us – the reality of the Cross is the open door for us to walk through.
Saul seemed powerful, but he discovered he was helpless. Trying to be strong in our own strength prevents us drawing on the power God can bring to our lives. Some time later, Paul wrote ‘When I am weak, then I am strong’ because he had heard Jesus say to him ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’
Loved, wanted, forgiven and accepted. That is the amazing truth Jesus reveals to us! No longer needing to put up a brave front, because he sees us as we are in the mess and muddle of normal life, and never leaves us to battle on alone.
We can embed these truths deep in our hearts through prayer – regular committed conversation with God about the things and people that really matter to us. Bringing to him the parts of our lives that we find difficult to face up to. Admitting when we’ve gone wrong and discovering that his love never fails.
And we can find added strength by telling another Christian about an area of weakness, and asking them to pray for us.
As for the present-day Sauls, hostile to Jesus and his Church, we can pray that as they rub up against our changed lives and how we deal with our issues, they will have their own encounter with the risen Christ and realise how much they too are loved and wanted.