Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: Job 11-13; Acts 9:1-21
Meanwhile, Saul was still spewing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest, 2 seeking letters to the synagogues in Damascus. If he found persons who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, these letters would authorize him to take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 During the journey, as he approached Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven encircled him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice asking him, “Saul, Saul, why are you harassing me?”
5 Saul asked, “Who are you, Lord?”
“I am Jesus, whom you are harassing,” came the reply. 6 “Now get up and enter the city. You will be told what you must do.”
7 Those traveling with him stood there speechless; they heard the voice but saw no one. 8 After they picked Saul up from the ground, he opened his eyes but he couldn’t see. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9 For three days he was blind and neither ate nor drank anything. (Acts 9:1-9, Common English Bible)
I don’t know about you, but for me and many of the people I know, when we find ourselves in a stressful situation we counter the stress with eating. That is the particular eating disorder (for a lack of anything better to call it) name, “Stress Eating.” When I get stressed I want to eat. It isn’t necessarily any particular food. Anything will do, as long as there is plenty of it. Really, it is nothing. Well, nothing that a ten-pound ham, a twelve-pound turkey, a couple of pizzas, three burgers, a boneless buffalo chicken salad from Chili’s (You have to have something healthy in there), three hotdogs, a banana cream pie and you can’t have anything like this without a few cookies (I love cookies) to top it all off. And, that is only lunch. What’s for dinner.
For Saul (within a few chapters he will be Paul), it is exactly the opposite. Is he stressed? I don’t see how he couldn’t be. First, he starts hearing voices. Then he knows the voice is God’s voice. After that, he learns more specifically that the voice is Jesus who he has been running around disrespecting to just about anyone who would listen and making those who were Christ followers lives a living nightmare. Then to top it all off, he then finds himself blind. Yeah, I do believe Saul/Paul had plenty of reason for stress and to stress-eat. And yet, he neither eats or drinks anything for three days. He must have had one dry mouth. I don’t live in a dry environment and after about 20 minutes I am looking for something to drink. My mouth gets so dry!
God then gives even more reason to stress, and not just to Saul. He sends Saul to find a disciple named Ananias. For his part, Ananias is less than thrilled with the prospect of the well-known trouble-maker. The stress levels of both had to be through the roof and yet they kept on as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening around them.
I think the key is, whether stressed or not, remain faithful and God will remain faithful to you. That is just what Paul and Ananias learned. We can learn the same.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
With Joy and Thankfulness,
Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved