“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV, emphasis mine)
Maybe he had just risen for the day. Maybe he was enjoying a little quiet time with the Lord. Maybe he had always found that time to be the easiest to hear the Lord.
But Ananias did not believe he heard correctly now.
“’Lord,’ Ananias answered, ‘I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on Your name.’” (Acts 9:13 NIV)
Can you feel the tremor starting at his lips and shooting down to his knees, as his mind comprehended the command and his mouth pronounced his protests?
Was he thinking, Lord, I can’t possibly do that! Do You know what that man does?
God answered simply. “Go!”
So, struggling under the weight of his doubts, Ananias went.
Don’t you admire his courage, his faith? He couldn’t see how this would be good for him, how it could be good for him, yet he obeyed God.
And God knew what He was doing.
He knew He had to set Ananias straight, so he sent him to Straight Street to meet and minister to the very last person Ananias would ever want to see, ever want to touch, ever want to offer Holy Baptism.
Ananias was a disciple. He already knew God. He was already “in.” Yet he didn’t have it altogether- he still needed to learn quite a few things, even if he didn’t realize it yet.
God grew Ananias that day. When God gave the instructions He knew that Ananias, after lodging his protests, would indeed go. He would learn that the Lord could be fully trusted. Something he probably knew in theory, but now he would have hard-earned, hard-core evidence.
Ananias exemplified Proverbs 3:5-6. He could not see how in the world his meeting Saul would have any positive result, but he trusted in the Lord with all his heart, and God did indeed make his paths straight.
Straight to Straight Street.
Straight into the room of the worst of Jesus’ persecutors.
Straight as an arrow into the holy line of sight that revealed sometimes we don’t know and must fully trust in God.
Ananias could not imagine meeting Saul and living through it. He never would have imagined this Saul, persecutor of followers of ‘The Way,” would humbly ask Ananias to restore his sight, and to show him the way to follow Jesus for himself.
Yes Saul was not the only one set straight at Straight Street. Ananias found his heart set straight as well.
If you’ve journeyed with the Lord for quite a while, have you, at points, assumed you have everything about faith set straight in your mind?
Has God needed to correct your mindset? How did that alter your thoughts, and/or your actions?
Prayer: Lord, please give me a faith and courage like Ananias, that even when I can’t see any good from it, I too will follow your instructions. Amen.
Thanks for reading! Please return by next Monday, September 14, for the next post.