After she and her household had been baptized, she offered us an invitation, “If you consider me a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my home,” and she prevailed on us. // Acts 16:15
I like to think about Lydia a bit in terms of “before and after.”
From Saint Paul today we know that she was a business woman who dealt in purple cloth, which to me sounds like the equivalent of high fashion in ancient Macedonia. She could have been a very trendy woman. Someone who knew everyone, could get a great deal on imported silk, and attended all the best parties. In other words, she may not have been someone who naturally invited the new Christian evangelists in town over to dinner upon first meeting them.
But then the Lord opened her heart. Lydia converted to this new faith upon hearing the words of Saint Paul because she was changed. She opened her home to these strangers for the love of God because now they were bound together in sharing the same faith.
I like to imagine that Lydia inviting Saint Paul to her home was an example of the grace God gives us when we allow our hearts to be opened. We may not feel naturally inclined to hospitality, or talking about our faith at work, or volunteering at church. Those things may feel outside of our wheelhouse or how we are used to functioning in the lives we have planned so carefully.
But God’s grace gives us that extra jump to step outside of what we believe to be our comfort zones. God’s grace can even give us a completely new passion, interest, or ability that we had previously thought impossible.
It doesn’t matter how long we have been a Christian, the Lord can open our hearts to new ways of serving Him and others today and every day. Today, offer a prayer today asking God to give us a grace we need to serve the Body of Christ.The Lord can open our hearts. // Christy Isinger Click To Tweet