March 11, 2013

“But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem.  And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.”  But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.  For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”  So Ananias departed and entered the house.”  Acts 9:13-17a

I got an email from a good friend with this image attached.

30 miles painThe text that he sent me was, “So, you wanna tackle my 30 mile training loop tomorrow…I think I’m going to try.  It is supposed to be 58 with mild wind.”

My immediate response was, “no.”  I had an entire list of reasons why I was not particularly interested in doing this ride.  The chief reason was that I was not prepared.  This would be my first outdoor ride of the season on my road bicycle.  The wisdom of tackling 30 miles with approximately 1,700 feet of vertical climbing as my emergence from winter hibernation was escaping me.  I could not believe that my friend would suggest this ride as my first ride of the season.

I hemmed and hawed in delay of my response to the insensitive request.  I could come up with an assortment of reasons not to do it but I continued to stumble over one question, “what is the worst that could happen?”

I could bonk.

There are a lot of alternative routes back that could shorten the ride.

I could gas-out on a climb.

I can push a bike up a hill; I have done it before.

I could be dropped by my friend.

I will just arrive a little later at our destination.

I will be sore the next day.

I have been sore before.  It is not that bad.

There was not a response to the question of  “what is the worst that could happen” that should prevent me from doing this ride.  So, I hesitantly emailed my friend back, “I am in.”

Yesterday, we went and did the ride.  We ended up cutting 3 miles and one climb (500 vertical feet) from our planned route but overall it was a great ride.  It was challenging.  There was one particular climb where I slowed and my thighs screamed to the point that I almost put my foot down but I did not and finished well.  I discovered that I was better prepared for this season of cycling than I realized.

English: Ananias restoring the sight of Saint PaulI wonder how you get prepared for the message that Ananias received from the Lord.  Ananias must have had an entire list of reasons not to go.  The chief reason was that this man Saul could have him killed.  We all have the benefit of knowing the whole story.  Ananias did not know how his story was going end when he went to meet Saul.  As he closed the door to his home, the Lord had told Ananias about His plans for Saul but He had not said anything about His plans for him.  Ananias’ step from his home was a step of faith.

I wonder if Ananias considered the possibility that he was leaving his home for the last time.

I wonder if Ananias considered the answers to the question, “what is the worst that could happen?”

I wonder if Ananias thought, “I am not prepared for this.”

We know that Ananias left his home and entered the house where the blinded Saul was staying. Ananias must have concluded that there was not any response to the question of  “what is the worst that could happen” that would be good enough to prevent him me from not doing what the Lord had told him.  Ananias was all in.

I can only conclude that Ananias had come to a conclusion similar to that in Hebrews, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6)  Ananias discovered through his obedience that the Lord had prepared him better than he may had ever imagined.

Most of us will never have to face a calling as dramatic as that of Ananias.  For many of us, the answer to the question of  “what is the worst that could happen” to the Lord’s leading is not death.

What do I have to fear; what can man do to me?

Our Lord may be calling you to something very scary.  He might be directing you to something that you feel completely unprepared for.  Ask yourself, “What is the worst that could happen?”   Is there a response to that question that is good enough to prevent you from not going down the path that the Lord is guiding you onto?

Step out in faith.  I believe that you will discover that you are better prepared than you ever thought.

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for your work of preparation in my life.  I realize that I am not even aware of most of it.  Father, grant me the faith of Ananias.  Prepare me so that I can conclude that there is nothing that I have to fear from men.  Enable me to see You clearly and desire You more than anything.  Amen


  1. I zeroed in on the first sentence of your prayer: ” Thank you for your work of preparation in my life”. What comforting and confidence-building words! God certainly prepared Ananias for ministering to Paul; he will do the same for the tasks he asks of us. We can step out in faith with joyful anticipation for what he will do in and through us. Thank you, JD, for this spiritual power-drink from God’s Word!

  2. Thank you for the poist. It’s just what I needed! I don’t do change well, and lately I have had quite a few which disrupted my routine. Nothing drastic or even important, just interupted my routine and I got frazzled. So again, I thank you. God bless!

  3. Not only was Ananias all in, but he said “Brother Saul…” By the time he got there he’d recognized that powerful point. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. I too wonder if Annanias ever got a clue of how great the man would be, whom he was called to help. I love the post, the prayer and the thoughts. Peace be unto you and yours.

    • There was no glory, lots of fear…. makes ya wonder what impact you/we make day to day

  5. Much appreciated post. Just wrote about a similar situation. Definitely a step of faith!!!

  6. Great post

  7. Such a good reminder to ask that question. Since the worst that can happen can’t touch my salvation, then I need to walk forward as God calls. He is so gracious in giving us support and encouragement from His word and His followers! Thanks for challenging me today!

  8. When I remember to ask this question, it is a good banishment for fear. I used to ask it a lot. It may be a habit I have to recultivate. Thanks for the reminder!

    • I have experience the same thing when I ask that question. I am glad it was a good reminder.
      God Bless!

  9. Excellent post.

  10. I am totally loving your blog. Thank you.

    • Thank you for the encouragement. I am glad you enjoy it. It is a pleasure to write.
      God Bless!

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