So just a little background, Saul was a Jewish man who did not believe in Jesus Christ. He was spending a lot of time and energy persecuting those who did believe in Jesus. He actually went to a High Priest and requested the authority and permission to find believers and chain them up and bring them back if they they were found to be believers.
As he was traveling looking for believers to imprison is when he had the "Damascus Rd." experience. This is when he fell to the ground and heard a voice asking him why he was harrassing and persecuting. He was actually blinded, even though the passage says his eyes were open for a period of a few days.
The Lord spoke to a disciple named Ananias and gave him instructions to go to where Saul was and lay hands on him so that he would regain his sight and also be filled with the holy spirit. Ananias had already heard of Saul and how he was persecuting believers. He responded, "I have heard many people tell about this man, especially how much evil and great suffering he has brought on your saints in Jerusalem. Now he is here with authority to put chains on all who call upon your name."
Essentially Ananias was saying, "Hey, I've heard of this evil man and he has the authority and the reputation of causing problems for any believers and I don't want to be anywhere near him." And really this is an understandable position. The Lord's response to Ananias was, "Go! For this man is a chosen instrument of mine to bear my name before the Gentiles and kings and the descendants of Israel."
So I've been thinking about Saul/Paul's transformation. And I'm thinking about a man who was driven to persecute those who were believers. And yet, in the blink of an eye he was changed. He was transformed. And even when Ananias was still afraid of him and didn't want to be anywhere around him, he was told "This man in chosen..." This is a reminder that we have no control over who God may chose as an instrument in our lives. AND he truly has the power to transform someone completely.
There are times when I remind myself that there is nothing too big or too hard for God and then there are other times that situations or even people are just "written off" in my mind. No situation is so bad that God cannot fix it if he so chooses.
I have had some situations that I may not have said I wrote them off, but in my heart I had resolved that they were a lost cause. Things that I'd previously prayed about consistently but stopped. And out of the blue, things shifted.
So for me it is a good time to re-read about Saul/Paul's life and ministry. It's a great reminder that God can turn things completely around when you least expect it.