And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus.
Paul had set out for Damascus, but he would arrive there under much different circumstances than he at first thought. He set out as a man with authority and power and arrived needing to be led by the hand. He set out to persecute Christians and arrived as one himself. He set out as an enemy of God, an unforgiven sinner, and arrived as a redeemed, forgiven son of God. He arrived at his destination, but he was changed by the journey God brought him on to get there.
We ourselves may come to belief in God, but has it really changed us? Have we arrived in our Damascus different than when we set out because of what God has done in our hearts and lives? Has His truth penetrated us so deeply that there is a noticeable difference in our lives? It’s not always an easy journey. God will hit all of our sore spots and ask us to give up control, give up our right to ourselves, give up who we used to be so He can make us who He wants us to be. But when we come out whole and complete in Christ on the other side, it will all be worth it.
Paul knew his life would never be the same, and he didn’t want it to be. He didn’t go back and persecute a few more Christians before he changed his ways, but instead he immediately went forth to preach the truth, immediately obeyed God’s call for his life. We can do the same thing in our lives, as well. We don’t need to linger in our old lives of sin, but we can immediately go forth in obedience to do what God has called us to do. He has brought us to Him, revealed Himself to us, and if we accept Him, we can’t go back to being the same as we were before.
What is it that can change us so abruptly and completely? Nothing other than the glory of Jesus Christ Himself. His brightness shines into our darkness, and we can’t help but be drawn toward His glorious light. His hand of mercy reaches for us not to harm us, but to heal us. His love pulls us close and wraps us up, filling us with a peace we could have never imagined. If we’ve taken our own road to Damascus and come to know Jesus, let’s not continue on the same as we were before. Let’s take a journey with Jesus and allow Him to mold us and shape us as we grow in Him.