Saul devoted his life to upholding the law (because he was a pharisee) and then saw that Christians threatened his religion, so he wanted to silence them. In Acts 9, Saul sets out to physically bind those who follow the Lord. But God switches that story up pretty stinkin’ quick.
On the road to Damascus, God shakes up Saul’s world. He gently asks “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”. Saul asks who it is speaking – but he knows who – he had spent his life seeking those who knew the Lord. Here, on the road to Damascus, God held Saul’s sight for 3 days. Saul didn’t eat or drink for those 3 days – but he laid there and prayed. – I wonder what he was saying to God at this point. I wonder if he was angry, or was he humbled? Maybe a little bit of both?
God reaches out to a man named Ananias in a dream. He tells Ananias to go to Saul to give Saul his sight back – and ultimately fill him with the Holy Spirit: to fill him with passion for Jesus. But this scares Ananias (go figure, right?). I would be terrified too. Ananias has heard of Saul and all of the destructive acts he has done, but in spite of that, God is telling Ananias to go. That takes some serious trust and boldness.
“Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” vs 15.
Ananias goes. He heads straight to Saul, Saul is healed and gets baptized; his life is completely flipped. Saul, now Paul, is given a purpose. He has God-given confidence that ignites hope in those around him.
Our stories do not have to be written by us.
There is an Author who can write a story from our “Roads to Damascus” into something absolutely incredible.
I handed my life fully to Jesus in November of 2012. Unlike Paul, there wasn’t an instantaneous moment when my life flipped, but gradually I knew I wanted a life that I didn’t have to do on my own. I knew I wanted a life that had meaning and purpose.
My “Road to Damascus” looks different than Paul’s, and I bet yours does too. Regardless, if you have chosen to abandon your life for Jesus’s life you have encountered your own sort of “Road to Damascus”.
Pause and think on that for a second. Let your story be reminded to you.
Through these past 4 years I have felt more peace than ever before. I have felt overwhelming joy. I have felt God-breathed passion.
But there have also been a lot of challenges mixed in too. I have been gently convicted along the way. The thoughts and state of my heart are usually messy and oftentimes I give into comparison and doubt. I compare myself to other women who seem to have it together and I doubt that I will be used in any sort of awesome way.
By comparing myself to other’s I am not allowing my heart to celebrate who God has made His other daughters to be and what story He is writing with their lives.
By doubting that I can and will be used for big Kingdom things, I am telling Jesus that the life-story He is creating isn’t worth writing.
Now friends, I know for a fact that those thoughts are not rooted in truth.
I know and believe with my entire being, that my God is a God who challenges and convicts gently. I know that He walks with me through life; doubts and all, and doesn’t harshly punish me because of them. He calls my name gently and confidently because I am His daughter. I am a daughter who has hope rooted in TRUTH.
I have learned a ton about myself on my life-road. I have learned that my heart breaks for those who have broken families and no hope. My heart beats faster when I sit across from other women and tell them they are not alone and that God does not give up the fight for their hearts. I have learned that my soul is knitted together in a way where I feel deeply for others.
I have learned that “my” story is not my own, but instead it is a beautiful piece of paper that my Father is writing a masterpiece on.
There are days that I feel incredibly unworthy and insignificant, but God always always, always gently reminds me that those words are not truth.
The truth is that this life I live is HIS and HE is worthy and so very significant. I must live in a manner that is worthy, because if I don’t, I am knowingly denying His grace and His Kingdom-sized story.
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20
Read Paul’s story. Find ways that you can relate it to your own story and look for hope. Ask God what He will do with your life-story. Ask Him to bring you to a place of complete surrender for what He has for you on your “Road to Damascus”, and the roads that will come after.