How can a true story about a couple of guys that lived two thousand years ago be relevant to you and me today? After all, people and society have changed so much—few of us herd sheep anymore. One story might be very relevant, however, because human nature has not changed. And, the God who is central to this story has not changed. Stay with me and I’ll explain.
The God who is central to this story has not changed.
The account I’m talking about is the one of Saul and Ananias from the Bible. If you are a person like me who hurt others by using violence in a relationship, I’m guessing you’ll relate to Saul. Saul hurt people, including having people killed. People both feared and hated him for his violence. Saul, however, was convinced he was doing the right thing.
While I didn’t kill anyone, I could definitely relate to being violent, hurting others, and having people hate me for what I did. Like Saul, I felt some justification for my actions, even though I’ve since learned I was not at all justified.
One day, while Saul was going about his business, a great light unexpectedly blinded him. He needed help to get to the next town. It must have been stressful, because he didn’t eat for 3 days.
Getting arrested for domestic violence was not at all in my plans. I felt completely helpless in jail. I lost a quick ten pounds under the stress of the legal trouble, relationship issues, and thinking about the life disruptions that were now inescapable. Can you relate to these stressors?
I lost a quick ten pounds under the stress of the legal trouble, relationship issues, and thinking about the life disruptions that were now inescapable.
Fortunately for Saul, God had better plans for him. First, he sent a man named Ananias, who God used to heal Saul. However, this healing was far more than restoring his sight, regaining his appetite, and rebuilding his strength. Saul also received a heart transplant, so to speak.
He stopped his violence. The people he’d previously hurt became people he loved and served. While many continued to doubt that he’d changed, he did not defend himself. Rather, he focused on the mission he was being called to do. In the process, he created a legacy far greater and more positive than what he would have achieved if he continued on his original path.
Saul’s story can become your story. If you’ve been violent with your partner, God wants something better for you. He wants you to experience close, loving relationships. He offers you a chance to feel at peace inside. He hopes you’ll embrace the reason he created you. He promises your life’s legacy will be more wonderfully notable when you do. While God, like any good parent, doesn’t always like the things we do (like hurting some of his other children), he never stops loving you. Accepting his love and grace changed my life. It can change yours, too.
God wants something better for you.
If you want to read the short story about Saul and Ananias directly from the Bible, you can find it here. If you’d like to explore more about what a relationship with God has to offer you, I invite you to spend some time exploring The God Factor. You’ll be glad you did.