Listen to this devotional:
Acts 8:3-4 – As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison. Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word. (NKJV)
Sometimes, life shocks us. Something unexpected comes hurtling at us like a comet from the night sky. We reel backward, thrown winded by events.
Such was the case for me. Two groups I dearly love announced major changes. The first was the announced retirement of the director of a fellowship to which I belong. Then within a month, a second group dissolved like a mist. While the first group will continue, the other will not. Thus, bereavement clouded my day, and denial knocked on my heart's door by night. I searched for a way to save this cherished group, but found none. I felt as if I'd been hit with a baseball bat across the kidneys.
Then I remembered the church during Saul's persecution. God stepped into a growing church that seemed to have forgotten the Great Commission to go into all the world. Instead, all cozy and warm, they snuggled into Jerusalem — until Saul's persecution forced them to scatter the Gospel as they fled. Everywhere, they told how Christ died and then rose again, and how believing in Him would open the way to eternal life. We know the rest of the story. Saul became Paul. Then, wow! Did the message ever sizzle throughout the whole Roman Empire.
As I mulled over these thoughts, I seemed to hear the Lord reminding me that He always thinks bigger than I do. One thought kept coming to the forefront of my mind. Usually, just as all seems darkest, dreariest, and dampest, God's dawn breaks upon our circumstances. Then, forced to tie on our sandals, we hit the dusty road and share the Good News wherever we go.
Prayer: Astonishing God, Your grace astounds us as You stir our lethargy, transforming it into action. Revive our hearts and lives so that we will reach others with the Good News of our rescue through Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.