Read: Acts 8:26-35
I love the Bible stories that tell us of someone being made new, 2 Corinthians 5:17. What a joy to watch Jesus or in the case of today's reading from the book of Acts, Philip introduced someone to the Creator/Redeemer Who knows and loves him. Isn't it wondrous to eavesdrop as God places His envoy at the right place at the right time to impact a life for eternity! In Acts 8, two lives intersected. The result? The Ethiopian became a child of God right there in the middle of nowhere, John 1:11-12. And Philip? He was privileged to be the one whom Jesus chose for this wondrous task. What a God we have Who can find a man in the middle of nowhere right when the timing is perfect. Often, we pray for that very thing. We ask the Lord to place the right person in the life of someone we love at just the right time. The good news? He didn't stop doing that kind of intertwining 2,000 years ago. His love for people and is sovereignty have not diminished. With that truth in mind, may I share a story that occurred in my life that reminds me that it is simple for God to intersect lives, and because of that we don't need to try to figure out ways to do His work?
It was many years ago. I truly don't know how many. Some of us ladies were in Colorado at a retreat. Along with the speaker, several workshops were offered. One of them centered around getting rid of toxins which apparently are in lots of places. The workshop leader spoke of 101 ways to be rid of them. I attended the workshop because my friends wanted to hear about the subject. The problem? I started to giggle. Let me press pause to say that when I really get struck with the giggles, it is hard for me to stop. Enough said. Fast forward, and we were back home, and very soon after we had returned, I woke up with the thought that I had acted rudely while the toxin lady was speaking. I didn't hear an audible voice, but I believe that was a nudge from the Lord, and I asked for forgiveness and told Him that if I ever saw that speaker again, I would apologize to her. Two things are certain. I really meant it. I would apologize if I ever saw that lady again; even so, I really never thought our lives would intersect. After all, I didn't even know where she made her home. Fast forward at least a year. Another retreat where we went to the tea factory and then to Focus on the Family. I was shocked when a friend told me that the workshop leader from that previous retreat was right there. She was having a book signing right there at Focus on the Family. Right away, I said I needed to get in that line. I would apologize since I had the opportunity. Let me press pause to say that as I stood waiting, my emotions were ramping up as I waited; therefore, I was fairly flustered when I explained my situation to this poor lady who thought I simply loved her book. The long and short of it? She said people often laugh when she speaks and said she didn't remember me at all. Now there may be more than one reason the Lord intersected our lives, but a primary lesson for me was that the Lord can easily place any particular person in the path of any other person. Whether it is a desert place as it was in today's reading from Acts 8 or Focus on the Family, timing is no problem for the Lord. Neither the time while we ladies tasted the various teas or any delays due to the Colorado traffic interfered with my being able to interact with the workshop leader. How amazing to remember that I didn't even see her. It was my friend who remembered her, and I hadn't even told her about my promise to the Lord. I "just happened" to be with my friend, and she "just happened" to glance over and see the speaker.
Just as Jesus came in the fullness of time, Galatians 4:4, He is also putting together lives to accomplish His good purposes. He will continue to put people on the right path even if it is in the middle of nowhere. Back to the Ethiopian. Another wondrous thing that occurred in his life that day. He was reading from Isaiah 53 and not comprehending the passage. The right man, with the right timing and the right knowledge was sent to Him.
God be praised! It was simple for Him to do that back then, and He continues to intersect lives today. Accomplishing His work in His time. Making all things beautiful in His time.
Happy New Year!