Lord, I’ll do anything for you—but. . . . ” How easy discipleship seems without a Saul.
Ananias, a disciple who has divine visions and hears the Lord’s voice, seems to know God well. He even questions God’s request of him, a sign of authentic friendship. Perhaps this closeness encourages God to trust Ananias with a difficult task: “Go . . . look for a man of Tarsus named Saul.” Immediately Ananias recognizes the name, and he trembles in fear. God directs him to go to a man who has killed Ananias’s friends—and might kill him too.
When have you felt pushed out of your comfort zone? How has the Spirit nudged you toward a person from whom you want to run? We often limit what we will and won’t do for God. We say that we’ll do anything, but eventually we state a “but”—followed by a fear. Ananias offers a solid argument, citing the word on Damascus’s streets about Saul.
Yet Ananias does not say no. He honestly expresses his misgivings, and God honestly tells him what he has in store for Saul. For a second time, God tells Ananias to “go,” and he obeys.
How long the journey to Judas’s house on Straight Street must have seemed! As stunned Saul stumbles into Damascus, led by the hands of his companions, Ananias now travels on familiar roads to unfamiliar territory. Each of his footsteps traces a path of faith, a belief that God knows what God is doing even when we only fearfully obey. Faith spurs us out of our comfort zones to a place where miracles happen: “Immediately something like scales fell from [Saul’s] eyes, and his sight was restored. Then he got up and was baptized.”
Lord of Straight Street, draw me out of comfortable discipleship and into your miracle-working kingdom. May I too receive my sight. Amen.