This week I was reading through the story of the Apostle Paul meeting Jesus when a new detail stood out to me. You can find the entire story in Acts 9:1-19
. Saul goes from actively pursuing Christians to kill them and then changes into one of the dominant figures to propel the new church forward in the New Testament. That’s a cataclysmic shift in perspective. The catalyst for the transformation was Saul hearing the audible voice of Jesus and losing his vision as a result of a blinding light. Then,
“Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.” Acts 9:8-9
After this, a man named Ananias comes to Saul and the transformation kicks into overdrive. This quickly became, and still stands, as one of the greatest transformations we’ve ever seen. Which is why that small detail about three days is so interesting to me. Imagine Saul contemplating his life for three days. He’s blind. He’s not eating or drinking. He’s processing. All his life up to this point has been misguided. The person who He assumed was a phony is Â God Himself. Everything must change. His relationships with his friends and his family. His career. His future. All that he holds dear is now different.
Instead of God sending Ananias to Saul the moment after he goes blind, he provides him three days to process. That’s because most people need space to fully accept the ways in which God is about to change them.
This is an important detail for us to remember today for at least two reasons:
- Big shifts in thinking take time; they don’t happen overnight.
- But as time goes on, we should be able to change our minds.
My wife and I joke that I’m not the same guy she married a decade ago. I believe in Jesus more deeply and certainlyÂ differentlyÂ than I did then. Thankfully, Michelle is exquisite at giving me space to process and not getting fearful of where the journey will take us.
You may be in a season of three-day-blindness right now. Maybe you’re doubting things, or asking new questions, or challenging beliefs you’ve always accepted. That’s a great place to be, and I believe God will give you the space to process it. If the Christian-killer Saul needed some space before becoming the Apostle Paul, you might need to allow yourself some space too. Commit to the process of learning and experiencing God in new ways and watch where it takes you. Read people who argue points you’ve never heard of or don’t immediately agree with. There’s a wealth of great Christian thought out there for those willing to spend time in it. Kids tend to be really good at learning and processing new ideas while oftentimes as adults we view it as a badge of honor to plant ourselves and defend every position we have. What would happen if we embraced the process times with God?
How long does it take to change your mind? Does it ever change?
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