Each day during the  month of March we will be sharing a devotional from a booklet written by Steve Love. Steve is a member of Canton First and a Traumatic Brain Injury survivor. If you would like a complete PDF of this devotional, it can be downloaded here.

Day 13

Acts 9:26-28 (New International Version)

26 When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. 28 So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord.


     After his conversion, Saul/Paul went to the city of Jerusalem to join the disciples.  But the disciples did not believe he had been truly converted.   They saw his becoming a Christian as a ploy to arrest them.  They would not take the time to see the person Paul had become.  Barnabas saw Paul for who he truly was, and he was the only one from the church in Jerusalem to reach out to Paul.  This made a difference for Paul and for the Church.

     The person with a brain injury and their family can relate and can totally understand what Paul was facing.   Many of the people who were an important part of our lives before our injury have dropped out of our lives.  They do not want to take the time to get to know us as we are now.  In many ways, we have become a different person.  For many of us, the person we were died the day we were injured.  Often, even members of our extended families cannot accept the new us.  They want us to be the way we were.

     I know that I am not the same person I was before my brain injury.  It has taken time, but my family has accepted who I have become.  I know they still miss the old me, but they have moved on and gotten to know the new me.  My friend James tells me that he really likes the new person he has become.   Many of his friends and family would agree with him.  I did not know James before his brain injury.  I know that the James I have gotten to know is a wonderful guy, one worth the time it takes to become his friend. 

     Those who drop out of our lives are the losers.  They rob themselves of knowing the remarkable person we have become.  It hurts when we lose those who were our friends and loved ones from our lives.  The sad fact is 90% of our friends and acquaintances will drop out of our lives.  I have made many new friends who have invested themselves into becoming part of my life.    We might not be the same person.  We might have different likes and goals in life. It is good to focus on those who chose to be part of our new life.   We need someone like Barnabas who took the time to invest himself in the life of Paul in our lives.  We need those who will take the time to invest in who we are now.

Pray and thank God for the family and friends who have remained part of our lives.

Pray and thank God for all the Barnabas’ in our lives.

Pray and ask God to help us to be a Barnabas in someone else’s life and help our family and friends to be able to handle the new person we have become.