Being a Strange Situation!

Being a Strange Situation!

by Jacques Dernelle on April 1, 2020
Being Sent…in a Strange Situation!

“The Lord told him: Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision, he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.” (Acts 9:11,12)

Do you know that we can be someone else's "angel"? Two small preliminary remarks anyway. I truly believe in angels as "ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation", as Hebrews 1:14 tells us, but the word angel, both in Hebrew and Greek, can also mean sent. What I mean then is that God sends us, according to our good will and availability, to help the other when he is going through difficult times. These are what I call appointments in God's agenda.

In this perspective, I would like to analyze with you a situation from the Book of Acts at a crucial moment in the life of Saul of Tarsus. He is in the midst of a human-religious shipwreck. His religious zeal against people who invoke the name of Jesus had reached its peak; armed with the letters of the high priest, he set out to break the heretic in the city of Damascus. But on the way, an unexpected encounter breaks his dream of triumph over others. Thrown to the ground, he is engaged in an interrogation... that he does not run!

The zeal is cracked... The following words underline his distress: "Saul rose from the ground. And although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus.” (Acts 9:8) I try to imagine the whole meaning of the Damascus road before it is understood as a victory. The scaffolding of the conception of my value, my values, my faith, what makes me stand - what makes me who I am and what makes me believe in myself... is collapsing. I went blind the next day! The conscientious persecutor has become vulnerable...

This is where an envoy makes sense, but who will dare to approach him?

Ananias, a mature man, is the chosen one. Later, Paul would define him as a pious man, faithful to the law and esteemed by all the Jews who resided in Damascus. He is a thoughtful man because in his conversation with God, he expresses his point of view, which I would translate as: God, haven't you read the newspapers? But God, in his tenderness, explains to him the importance of the act he asks him to do: Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine...

Notice the accuracy of God's divine GPS and timing!

In our desire to give the best of ourselves, we may desire to be God's envoy to the one who needs it. God does not seek perfection in men or women, but He is interested in their good will in order to be able to use them wisely. A text from Isaiah has revolutionized my life as a pastor, but it also adapts to every committed Christian: 50: 4-5.

“The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught,
That I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary
Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear
To hear as those who are taught.”

Are you ready, ready to be available?

Jacques Dernelle