10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered.
11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”
13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”
15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” Acts 9:10-16
Saul’s legacy preceded him. He was known throughout the community as someone who shouldn’t be trusted. But God had different plans for him, and those who would encounter him. Not only would he have to change his ways, but they would have to change the way they felt about this murderous man. That’s not such an easy hurdle to overcome if you have relatives who were punished unjustly, but it’s what Grace is all about.
I suspect there are millions of people worldwide who have to deal with these kinds of forgiveness hurdles. And it’s not easy at all. Our natural self wants to stay angry and bitter at those who have caused us (and loved ones) pain.
Pray for that man or woman in a foreign land who has seen a loved one persecuted before their eyes. Consider the pain and anguish they have had to endure. There may even be anger towards God for allowing it to happen. Pray that God will give them grace to give it all over to Him.