Acts 9:1-9, Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.” The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
One of the questions I have managed to answer for myself on my spiritual journey is, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” I have dealt with this to my satisfaction for some time now. I am content to allow God to use me in whatever way He desires, even at my own expense. My greatest question for God is, “Why have you called ME?” “Why have you allowed ME to survive for this many years in ministry?” “Why have ME, when you could have had the popular person, the educated person, or the more equipped individual?” I have been granted the privilege of knowing God in spite of many frailties and fractures which greatly outweigh any real value I might bring to the relationship.
In Saul’s case, God would blind a murderous persecutor to teach the Gentile world about Jesus. We may not see the reason we were called, but glory to God, one day, we will see the Savior of us all! We are more like Saul in ways we may not realize.
Can you imagine Paul strutting around Jerusalem and forming this social reputation as the one who was going to call the People of God back to the Lord? He would single-handedly bring the apostate to their well-deserved demise. He would actually seek warrants to arrest any blasphemer he could or administer capital punishment on the spot if necessary.
God is always mindful of our hearts. As a result, Saul gets “unhorsed!” or “Undonkeyed?” God would see the pride of a wrong-headed man hit the ground like so much other refuse on that road. He was blind and chastened on this trip of attempted persecution. Sometimes we need the pride cleaned from our ears so we can hear the truth of Jesus.
There is no better illustration of one who was well intended, but completely wrong in their understanding. In spite of all that Saul thought he knew, he really knew nothing. What is our reaction when we face the complex issues of faith in life? Spiritual growth takes us from one place to another and not everything is black and white. Sometimes we are challenged by multifaceted issues so that we can grow into much stronger people. I don’t believe Saul was a bad man, he just didn’t know, what he didn’t know. Fortunately for Saul, God sees what we can become, beyond what we presently are. He knows what we are capable of being for Him in this world. It’s possible we might need to fall off of our donkeys first. We will never truly know our worth to God, but be sure He sees it, and that’s all that really counts.