As I study the conversion of Paul and while he was still Saul persecuting the Christians, Ananias was called by God to go and heal him after he was blinded by the Truth. Acts 9:11-12 states “And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. Surely, Ananias would be fearful for going to such a man. Recently, I read a wonderful poem entitled “Ananias”.
“I heard you, Lord: ‘Heal him’. But…may I say a word? This Saul–haven’t I heard about Jerusalem and how he scorched us there–the violence, terror, despair?”
Ananias, what matters to us nineteen centuries since is that you shattered such logic and listened. Routing your own resistance, you trusted, freeing the verse of your heart with the rhythm of intuition. Love-led, you dared face hatred with compassion.
Not that you didn’t question–we all have. But out of that blaze you came, wide-eyed and childlike, to uncritical innocence.
Without your kind, the Sauls would be nothing but blind.
Author-Rushworth M. Kidder
This story hits home to me as I sometime wonder if God knows the entire story of what He is asking me to do. Yes, He always does and today I will listen and obey.
Yesterday morning as I drove an hour and a half one-way to read the Bible Lesson with some people, the fog was so heavy I could barely see the entire trip. This had happened once before and I remembered praying so hard that I could almost hear God tell me to keep my eyes on the car ahead. That and trust in Him was all that I had needed. Then I remembered that at times I want to know how God is going to work things out ahead of time. Daily he guides me and that is all that is necessary.
2 Corinthians 4:18 reads “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” When I flip a switch, a light comes on and when I turn a key, the car starts. These are things I know , so shouldn’t I trust God in every situation?
While working with the story of “Goliath” this morning, I am reminded of the many Goliaths in the world today. They usually are large and scary looking and may come in the guise of a disease or lack of finances or relationship problems. But, as David knew, the battle is always God’s and certainly should be scary if we think it is ours. David never compared himself to Goliath, but knew there was no comparison to God.
1 Samuel 17:45,46 says “Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand;”
“Be still and know that I am God.” is from Genesis 46:10 and is how I begin each morning. With that verse, outside thoughts can be quietened as I listen for God. The first thing that is overcome is fear and doubt, which is mesmerizing and hypnotizing. Sometimes, it takes longer than others, but my thinking needs to be receptive and humble and can only reach that stage when fear is gone.
When I realize that God is always here, not just when I need Him to clean up a mess that I have made but He also preserves Good, which is ongoing. There are times, when it is less obvious, but when I trust Him completely, He reveals what I need to know and always has. My heart is filled with humility and gratitude as I see proof of Him everywhere.
This morning has me pondering about loving some more than others. It seems to me that often there are people who are easier to love and forgive. As I have praying with these thoughts today, Proverbs 3:5-6 comes to mind and it reads, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” If I forgive one, shouldn’t I forgive all? How does God see his creation? I don’t think he picks and chooses, nor will I.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5 Whenever it seems I have much to do humanly as I do today, the temptation often arises to outline the day but today I will refer to the above scripture when that happens.
There are distractions everywhere, but God is always right here to center me!
Recently while I was praying about something and thought I needed to know the complete answer, I was reminded of one cold, rainy, foggy day last year. I had made a commitment to go to a nursing facility in another town and visibility was almost impossible. After about twenty minutes into the drive, I noticed my hands were gripping the steering wheel and my entire body felt tense.
As I talked aloud to God, I was reminding Him that I could only see the car ahead of me and I certainly couldn’t drive another thirty minutes or so like this. The thought that came to me was such that I heard it clearly. I was told that was all I needed to see. Almost immediately, the tension left my body and I drove the remainder of the way effortlessly. The weather didn’t change, but my outlook did.
Many times since then I have thought about my every need being met and I always could see what I need to see and my faith strengthens daily.