Acts 9:15, 16 But the Master said, “Don’t argue. Go! I have picked him as my personal representative to non-Jews and kings and Jews. And now I’m about to show him what he’s in for—the hard suffering that goes with this job.” (The Message Bible)
The Master here is the risen and ascended Jesus who appears in a vision to Ananias telling him to go get Saul (Paul) so that Saul’s sight will be restored and his life of service to Christ begun. As you can see from the passage, Ananias wasn’t too thrilled. The choice of Saul (Paul), the method of confronting him, the directions to Ananias- none of this made much sense at the time. If you were making plans to expand a young religious movement I doubt this is how you would have gone about it. But the verse above claims that Christ picked Saul personally for the role that lay ahead, a role that would include some “hard suffering.” If you follow golf at all you know that over the weekend Tiger Woods had a beautiful shot hit the flag pole on one green and roll all the way into the water off the green. This set in motion a series of events that gave him an additional two stroke penalty. It probably cost him the tournament. A micro movement of the club face or a wee bit more wind on the way to the hole would have changed everything. Bad luck? Karma? For Paul and Tiger and all of us the seemingly random movements that make up our lives either have a plan and a purpose played out by one who plans and purposes or they are indeed just random movements. Faith says the hand of God is there even when we don’t understand it. The story of Jesus says in him we have a reason to have faith. Hand-picked or haphazard? Which will determine how you live your life this week?