Read: Acts 9:1-22
As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
A Stub Is Not a Snub
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Imagine it’s one of those days. You are really angry. So angry that you feel like you are boiling. You might even storm around your house, tossing and slamming things.
As you storm, you stub your toe. You fall down in pain. As you sit, your toe throbs, but the rest of your body starts to relax. You begin to realize how ridiculous your behavior was. Your rage was getting you nowhere.
Today’s Bible reading opens with Saul storming around in a rage against the followers of Jesus. If you were a Jesus follower and crossed paths with Saul, you were in great danger. The threats, sticks, and stones were flying.
And then Saul stubbed his toe, so to speak. Jesus appeared to him in a way that got his attention and reduced him to a quivering pile of a man. He lost his sight and was completely dependent on his friends to guide him to the city where he was going.
Humbled, Saul sat for three days in darkness, coming down from his raging high.
When God knew Saul was ready, he restored Saul’s sight. And then God gave Saul an even better gift—the Holy Spirit filled his heart (v. 17). With these gifts, God in his grace gave Saul physical and spiritual sight. We know this because Saul began hanging out with the followers of Jesus, talking about Jesus and proclaiming his name. These are things Saul never would have done while he was blinded by his rage against Jesus.
Saul is an example of God’s incredible grace and his power to change hearts. Can we see ourselves in Saul? We too are sinners. We often get ourselves so worked up about this or that, and we fail to see what God intends for us to see. God might let you stub your toe just to get your attention, to get you to calm down so you can see things clearly. It’s his way of saying, “My child, what are you doing?”
When we’re finally calm and repentant, we can better get Jesus’ words to us, what he did for us, his power, his victory. As we listen to his voice, the Holy Spirit fills us and helps us see those things.
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
Lord, open our eyes to see your work in our lives, as you’ve done for so many people who once sat in darkness. Thank you for allowing us to see you clearly and share in your victory over darkness! Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- What calms you down when you get really angry?
- How do we know that God forgives us for what we do when we are angry?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- Describe a time when God allowed something to happen so you would pay more attention to him and his Word.
- How does God bring about change in your heart? (See Ezekiel 36:27, 1 Corinthians 2:12.)
Questions for Middle School and Above
- Name two things that were hard to see and understand because you were angry.
- Saul sat in darkness for three days. What do you suppose he was thinking about? How does the fact that Saul received his sight after three days in darkness parallel Jesus’ time in the grave between Good Friday and Easter Sunday?