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March 18, 2023 8:00 pm
“Lord, please send me anywhere but there.” That was my prayer as a teenager before embarking on a year as a foreign exchange student. I didn’t know where I would be going, but I knew where I didn’t want to go. I didn’t speak that country’s language, and my mind was filled with prejudices against its customs and people. So I asked God to send me elsewhere.
But God in His infinite wisdom sent me precisely where I asked not to go. I’m so glad He did! Forty years later, I still have dear friends in that land. When I got married, my best man Stefan came from there. When he got married, I flew there to return the favor. And we’re planning another visit soon.
Beautiful things happen when God causes a change of heart! Such a transformation is illustrated by just two words in Acts 9:17: “Brother Saul.”
Those words were from Ananias, a believer God called to heal Saul’s sight immediately after his conversion (v. 10). Ananias resisted at first because of Saul’s violent past, praying: “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people” (v. 13).
But Ananias was obedient and went. And because he had a change of heart, Ananias gained a new brother in faith, Saul became known as Paul, and the good news of Jesus spread with power. True change is always possible through Him!