Opposite Day

October 20th, 2007 • Category: Book of Acts
by Tammy Mills

Today’s scripture: Acts 9:1-9 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me in this passage? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Tammy Mills):

I always think of playing “opposite day” with my brother when I read this story! (It was the only day I could say I hated my brother and get away with it!) Everything in this story is turned upside down, like opposite day!

This is such a dramatic story — the all-powerful avenging Saul is reduced to a blind powerless man in need of help. On first read it seems Saul’s conversion is sudden and abrupt, but if we explore a bit more of Saul’s journey to Damascus we find that perhaps the conversion was not so sudden. God had been speaking to him for some time. Is God speaking to you now? Are you aware of it?

I was reminded, as I read this scripture, that the conversion of Saul was not as sudden as it might seem. Remember Saul stood by and watched as Stephen died with great grace and dignity. He had also seen how many of the Christians who were persecuted in Jerusalem had such faith and peace in the face of great hardship.

Today Saul set out to Damascus to round up some Christians he believed had fled Jerusalem. The journey from Jerusalem to Damascus was about 140 miles — probably a week if you are going by foot. During that time Paul traveled with officers of the Sanhedrin, but because Saul was a Pharisee he would have been unable to chat with them. So he had this whole week to be alone with his thoughts. I imagine God was working in his heart and mind as he walked.

I believe that is why Saul recognized God’s voice immediately. He had been hearing it for some time. His heart conversion had really begun some time before. Today what we see is his surrender to God’s grace and God’s will for his life.

Thought for the day: Are we ready to surrender to God’s voice and to follow where ever God calls — even if it is a complete change in “our” plans?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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