This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles. (Acts 9:15)

MOSES HAD TO FACE PHARAOH. Joshua was sent to face giants. Esther had to beg the king to save her people. Ananias was sent to Saul, the murderer. Why did God send His favorites into “battle” with crazy killers? And how did they ever get the courage to obey?

God commanded poor Ananias to confront perhaps the most-feared man alive. News traveled—and Saul was not good news. Saul was not the guy you wanted to meet—ever. Ananias must have wondered where God had been that God didn’t seem to know how ridiculous this request was. Ananias tried to tell God (vv. 13–14) why this was not a good idea.

But God knew what Ananias did not. (Funny how that happens.) God had been at work in Saul’s heart and Saul was a changed man. God said to Ananias, “Go!” and Ananias went. Without another word, he obeyed, though God had given him no guarantee that it was safe. How could Ananias have ever imagined that Saul the killer would become God’s “chosen instrument” to proclaim good news to the Gentiles?

So, while Saul was a changed man, he was to suffer much for God. Suffer guilt for those he had killed in God’s name. Suffer shipwrecks and beatings and imprisonment. But the new Saul—Paul—suffered all this gladly for God once he truly knew who God is. And so may we.

Trust that God just might know what He is doing.

Kathy Bence lives in Idaho with her professor husband, Phil.