God used the apostle Paul in such amazing ways that sometimes we forget that he once was a man named Saul, who persecuted those who followed Jesus. Paul’s story didn’t start with him testifying for Jesus, but thousands of years later, we are still reading about his conversion because his story is part of God’s greater story.
Until I started diving into this text again, I realized I had since forgotten what it was like to be a new Christian. Forgotten that at one point, I too was spiritually blind and needed a powerful encounter with Jesus himself to finally open my eyes to see the Truth. How stubborn is my soul and how hardened is my heart that nothing else and no one else but Jesus could change me.
It was only when God spoke to Saul, and he responded, that his life began to make a drastic change. In one moment, God spoke, and Saul became vulnerable probably for the first time in a long time. Without sight, he had to listen and learn to rely on those around him. He might have been physically blind, but spiritually, God’s Word had opened his eyes to live by faith and to trust in him.
Sometimes we undermine our own stories or think we don’t really have one because our journeys look nothing like Paul’s. But there’s no comparison because like Paul, we were all our own versions of Saul at some point: sinners and spiritually blinded to the Truth. Regardless of how long it has been since our first encounter with Jesus, the reality is that each day we are in need of the Living Word to speak into us and realign us with the heart of God and the trajectory of his kingdom. We are not defined by our past, but surely it’s important to remember because every time we do, it reminds us that we fit into God’s greater story of salvation that still continues.
In the words of our brother John Newton, “Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found; was blind but now I see.” This Lenten season, let us look back at the cross as the pinnacle of all our stories alike because it is Jesus that has saved us and it is Jesus who lives in us.