September 28

Open the eyes of my heart

by: Valery Dierdorf

Acts 9:1-19

Have you seen the movie: Paul, Apostle of Christ? If not, there is no other movie I could recommend to be seen more than this one! It shows the risk and cost and reward of following Christ.

You see Paul was formally Saul. No one had hated the believers like Saul. Hunting them down like dogs with the blessing of the high priest.

You’ve heard the expression “but God!”.  We use it when God steps in with a different plan or a different view of what the outcome should be.  The Bible is filled with examples of lives changed when God stepped in. I’m not sure of many I enjoy more, or that give the lasting effect more, than Paul’s encounter with Christ.

He first calls him by name (he already knew him), he met him on the road to Damascus (he knew where he was and the direction he was going), he spoke into his life that He was Jesus, the One he was really persecuting by his daily actions.

Those with Saul heard the noise but saw nothing except Saul fall. Helping him, Saul traveled for three days, blind, no food or drink.

Then the “but God” part starts. The Lord goes to Ananias in a vision and tells him to go to Judas’ home and, in short, pray for Saul as the Lord had already prepared him. Sounds great! Stop: Ananias said, but I have heard this is the guy that is hurting your people and has the chief priests’ okay. But the Lord still said, GO! I have chosen to use ‘this’ man to proclaim my name to the Gentiles, their kings and people of Israel. So, Ananias (obeyed) went, prayed and, of course, the results were healing, and the Bible says Saul was filled with the Holy Spirit and baptized.

I love this story because it gives me hope. Not just for me, but all who are away from God or those who have never met Him. He knows us by name, He knows where we are going, He has the healing we need and who will bring it to us, and He has a purpose for our lives. A purpose way beyond today… beyond what we can ever imagine. Yet for the “but God” moment to happen, we see both men had to obey and blindly trust in someone bigger than themselves. More than just physical sight—maybe I need to sing the song, “Open the eyes of my heart Lord. I want to see you.”

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