Have you ever felt totally and completely confused by what what God was telling you to do? Or by the circumstances he had you in? Story. Of. My. Life. I can’t even tell you how many times his plan just flat out didn’t make any sense to me. In fact, I’m knee-deep in that right now. And when I was praying this morning at the start my quiet time, that’s what I was specifically praying about. I was really just want some clarity or direction or explanation. Something to help me understand this particular situation.
And then I read the second half of Acts 8.
Philip had been preaching to crowds and crowds of people in Samaria. The the Lord told him to go down this road that went to a desert. A desert. That usually means no people, no cities, and definitely no crowds to preach to. So basically, the Lord was saying, “I know you’ve been sharing the gospel with tons of people and leading them to faith, BUT… I’m gonna need for you to just go down this road that goes to absolutely nothing right now.”
I can only imagine what must’ve been going through Philip’s head. “That road? That one right there? The one that goes into the big, empty desert? The one that goes where nobody is? Are you sure about that?” But, in my head it would’ve gone something more like this: “The desert? Where there are no people? Why don’t you want me to stay here and preach to the crowds? Am I not doing a good enough job? Is there something wrong with me that you don’t want me here anymore?” Either way, I’m sure Philip was confused and full of questions.
But, Philip got up and went. And he pretty quickly saw the reason why God sent him that way. He came across an Ethiopian eunuch who was reading from the book of Isaiah. By all Jewish standards, this guy was an outcast. He obviously believed in and worshiped God, but he just wasn’t given full access like the Israelites were because he was an outsider. But, in his own country he was pretty influential.
Philip was able to share the gospel with him, lead him to salvation, and even baptize him right there on the spot! Right after that Philip was gone, but I can only imagine how many people this man led to faith when he went back home! Just think of the souls that were saved all because Philip listened when God asked him to do something that seemed completely pointless at the time.
So, even though I didn’t get any direct answers about the purpose or reason for this current thing I’m dealing with, I did get a TON of clarity! God always has a plan, and we can always trust it. It may not make any sense at all to us, and that’s OK. It doesn’t have to. God knows the purpose even when we can’t see it, and he knows the “why” even when he doesn’t tell us.
So, even when he’s sending me down a road that seems to have no purpose whatsoever, I can step towards that road in faith and in obedience knowing that there IS a purpose and that I CAN trust his plan. I may be confused. I may not understand it. I may not always see the purpose right away, but there is one, and I can always trust that.