But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
I watch a show called "Once Upon A Time" and you may be surprised to find that my favorite character is the Evil Queen, now known as Regina. Yes, I know what you are thinking. Why didn't you choose Snow White or Prince Charming or even Belle. While they are all wonderful characters they don't have the one quality I have come to endear most about Regina, formally known as the Evil Queen. They don't have a story of redemption. I watched this character's story unfold week after week as the writers gave me more and more of her background story. I learned what events caused her evil spirit to grow and how her past hurts blinded her to the way she was hurting others. She has now changed for the good and I absolutely love it! She is now using her power to help others instead of killing them! Whew! What a relief this must be to all her fellow characters!
Yes, you know me. I connect everything to the Word of God and aren't we supposed to? I see many similarities between the character of Regina and the person of the apostle Paul. Much like Regina, Paul was not always on the side of good and fighting for the "heroes" or followers of Jesus Christ. Paul, like Regina, experienced a name change when his heart changed. He was Saul, the enforcer and scholar practicing under the Pharisee Gamaliel, while the character of Regina was the Evil Queen practicing under the dark one, Rumpelstiltskin. Both Regina and Paul were driven by a revenge on others which often ended in the death of those who they believed came against them. Paul and Regina both experienced life changing events that helped them see how pointless their actions of evil really were. This was when the change in both of them began to happen. It was evident to all those around that something profound had taken place and they had changed for the good.
Paul now used his power and influence for good and to spread the gospel of Christ Jesus instead of using it to kill and destroy those who were Christians. Like Paul, Regina stopped trying to kill the heroes and instead joined forces with them in hopes of finding her own "happy ending". The most ironic similarity has to be that as a Christian, Paul desired a happy ending as well. Paul says in Philippians 3:14 " I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." His happy ending was being one with Jesus Christ in Heaven.
Today I pray for each of you to use your own redemptive story of salvation for good. There is power in your testimony. The devil will tell you there is shame but that is a lie! Share your salvation story today and just watch what God can do.