Advent 2015 // Longing for Our Faith to be Restored

Acts 9:1-19

I often wonder what God saw in Paul, on his murderous journey to Damascus. Paul expressed no remorse, yet God was merciful. He proved to have greater plans for Paul than Paul did for himself. And Paul, however blinded (quite literally) to his fate that day, came to recognize this. 

I can only imagine that in those three days of blindness, Paul experienced a weakness he had never experienced before – a man that was once feared by the Christians, was now at the mercy of Christians. A man that was once hunting down Christians, was, only a few years later, proclaiming God’s mercy and love in order to spread Christianity. 

Like the story of Paul, I often wonder what God sees in me. I fail so many times. I promise to sin no more, yet a few short weeks later I find myself crawling back to that Confessional. Paul’s longing for his sight is reminiscent of my longing for the restoration of my faith.

Yet, there is a beauty in those three days of waiting for the Resurrection, those three days of blindness. In the darkness is where we yearn for the light. Be assured, we are not called to sit in our sin to experience” this darkness (please, run to Confession), nor should we pray for physical blindness (that would be silly). Rather, we are called to embrace our loneliness and longing in every moment, at every opportunity.

In this darkness, we are taught something greater about ourselves: Our dependency upon the Lord. Whether it be a longing for financial freedom, a child, God’s plans to be revealed, or our faith to be restored, God desires to comfort us through it all. When we embrace our longing – our weakness – we embrace God’s ability to be our strength. 

Paul could’ve done anything after his encounter with the healing power of God. He could’ve ignored God’s voice, and continued to live as he did before. But, that encounter changed him. That encounter gave him the courage to proclaim with boldness Christ’s incredible love and power. 

Sisters, what a beautiful example this is. I desire to emulate Paul’s response to his great longing in all that I do. I desire to embrace God’s strength in every situation. I pray, this Advent, our response to God may be as courageous as Paul’s. And, like Paul, may we be so lucky one day to count ourselves among the saints in heaven. 

Study Questions: 

1. Re-read Acts 9:1-9 slowly and take time to imagine what Paul experienced. 

Perhaps, put yourself in his shoes. Imagine his experience as your own. What 

strikes you? Write this down. 

2. What does God’s mercy mean to you? What do you think it meant to Paul? 

3. Pick one thing you currently experience longing for, and write it down.

Place that piece of paper in your Bible as a bookmark to Luke 1:45. In times of 

doubt or struggle, read that verse, meditate upon it, until your heart is 

granted peace.

This year's study journal is broken into 4 parts. 

To view each, please scroll to the middle of the above link.