After the Apostle Paul encounters Jesus for the first time in radical fashion, the encounter leaves him, in the words of Bruce Springsteen, literally “blinded by the light.” He had to be led by the hand of those who were with him to the city of Damascus. For three days he was without his sight until a man named Ananias was called by God and sent to pray for Paul and restore his sight back to him. Once Paul received his sight back, Ananias immediately asked Paul a poignant question, which I imagine is more out of excitement than anything else: “And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on His name” (Acts 22:16). For Paul, this must have a very strange reality. Just three days before, He was cursing all Christ followers and had made it his passion to exterminate them altogether. Now he was being asked to submit himself to Christ and follow the very way he prevented others from taking. This was foreign territory, and had the potential to create some unease or confusion in Paul. Ananias might have sensed this could have been a tension in Paul, and so he posed the question, “Why wait?”
Paul chose not to wait that day, and made the most important decision of his entire life by placing his faith in Christ. However, had he waited, who knows what would have crept in to deter him to taking that step? Fear, doubt, confusion…all could have led him to not make the decision he did. That decision was the catalyst for what was going to happen next in his life. Following that pivotal first step, Paul went on to courageously share the gospel (good news) of Christ with Gentiles (non-Jews) throughout the Roman Empire on three missionary journeys. This was a huge responsibility given to him by God, and Paul submitted to it despite the cost. I think that question from Ananias was a monumental question to be asked in the early stages of Paul’s faith. Ananias knew the calling on Paul’s life was great, and he knew Christ had to be the lead. So Ananias got him to Christ by asking a question compelling Paul to rise up and follow Christ.
I am thankful Paul included this as a part of his story in Acts to show us the significance of sharing Christ with others. Did you know there are specific people God places in your life so you can ask them the question, “Why wait?” Whatever season, whatever needs, whatever happenstance has led them to you or you to them are for the purpose of getting them to Christ. Be attentive and ready, with gentleness and respect, to give them the reason for the hope you have in Christ (1 Peter 3:15). Ask God today who He has called you to be an Ananias to.