The Easy Life?
Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. Acts 9:13
In theory, I desire the life God wants for me. The problem is that my vision of that life is often quite different from God’s vision. I imagine that following God means the easy life. It’s true of course, that when I stopped causing my own misery and got sober, my life radically improved. If I’m honest though, my version of living out my faith and recovery now means sitting at home in my recliner, writing a blog. My home – and my recliner – are comfortable.
God, however, often has other plans. When he puts someone in my path who needs help, he interrupts my recliner-sitting version of faith. You want me to give of my time, energy, and money to help others? God, I’d rather just write about recovery. I don’t want to have to do anything uncomfortable or get my hands dirty.
The hard thing about following God’s path is, though it leads to life, joy, and peace, we often find him asking us to do things we’d simply rather not do. We have our idea of what faith looks like, and it doesn’t involve rubbing elbows with those whom we simply don’t want in our lives.
This is what happened in today’s passage which tells of Saul’s conversion from persecutor of Christians to follower of Christ. After Jesus blinded Paul with light, he appeared in a vision to a man named Ananias, commanding him to go to Saul to heal his blindness. When Ananias heard God’s voice calling, he was willing, until he heard that Saul was the mission. Then he cringed. Not Saul, God. I want to obey, but not him. He’s the worst!
Ananias could have refused. His disobedience wouldn’t have thwarted God’s will. God would have just found someone else. However, had Ananias refused, he would have missed out on the life, joy, and peace found only in obedience to God.
This is where many of us find ourselves. We know we’re supposed to love those around us. We know we can’t live out our faith simply by sitting in our recliner, doing nothing, but doing something is often uncomfortable. If we want to know God’s plan for our lives though, we must learn to say yes when he asks us to love our neighbors, even if it’s uncomfortable. If our faith is real, it must spill out, pouring love into the lives of those around us.