“Saul was right there congratulating the killers.” Acts 7:60
I wrote about Stephen, the first martyr of the church, who had been stoned to death. Among the people standing around, and possible cheering on the rock throwers, was Saul. Now we know him as Apostle Paul.
In God’s master plan, he placed Saul in position to witness cruel behavior toward a new follower of Jesus. In Acts 9, we read of Saul’s conversion–“dazed by a blinding flash of light…’Saul, Saul, why are you out to get me?’ Jesus said. Three days later, the Master sent Ananias to find Saul, who placed his hands on him so that he could be filled with the Holy Spirit. “Something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes–he could see again!” (vs. 18) And, he became a martyr for Jesus, too.
Years ago, I had an elderly neighbor who constantly yelled at his disabled wife. One day, while sitting on my patio, I could see her sitting in her wheelchair, and I heard him scream at her, “All you do is sit in this chair all day long!” I sat quietly wondering what would happen next–would he strike her? I retreated back into my safe house, closed the door, and shut my eyes.
Lord, help me remove the scales of fear from my eyes that keep me from getting involved in tough situations. Amen.