Have you ever found yourself at a strange point in life and wondered how you got there? Have you looked back at the coincidences and happenstance that brought you together with others in a particular place and time? That feeling of gratitude for God’s careful direction is one of the reasons that one my favorite texts in all of Scripture is a strange little story about a lonely road, a deacon named Philip, and an Ethiopian eunuch. Read on...
26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.”
27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship,
28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet.
29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”
30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.
31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
32 This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.”
34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?”
35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.
36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized? ”
38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.
39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.
40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.
At some point, God will call us to places we never expected. Or God may call us to turn to a stranger and ask for their help, to say, “How can I unless someone guides me?” And if we do so, if we follow God’s call to strange places in the middle of nowhere, we may find that God has already visited these strange places, that God has already set the stage, that God has made nowhere God’s home. We may find that the bold steps we take were paved by none other than the God who moves where we least expect God to move.
And so I carry this strange little story with me wherever I go, expecting that when I least expect it, God will show up.
Let us "Make Prayer a Habit" and ask God to use us and direct us to those who desperately need a Savior.