May 4, Shattered Dreams

Acts 8:26-40

The angel of the Lord spoke to Philip,
“Get up and head south on the road
that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, the desert route.”
So he got up and set out.
Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch,
a court official of the Candace,
that is, the queen of the Ethiopians,
in charge of her entire treasury,
who had come to Jerusalem to worship, and was returning home.
Seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah.
The Spirit said to Philip,
“Go and join up with that chariot.”
Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and said,
“Do you understand what you are reading?”
He replied,
“How can I, unless someone instructs me?”
So he invited Philip to get in and sit with him.
This was the Scripture passage he was reading:

Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter,
and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
In his humiliation justice was denied him.
Who will tell of his posterity?
For his life is taken from the earth.

Then the eunuch said to Philip in reply,
“I beg you, about whom is the prophet saying this?
About himself, or about someone else?”
Then Philip opened his mouth and, beginning with this Scripture passage,
he proclaimed Jesus to him.
As they traveled along the road
they came to some water,
and the eunuch said, “Look, there is water.
What is to prevent my being baptized?”
Then he ordered the chariot to stop,
and Philip and the eunuch both went down into the water,
and he baptized him.
When they came out of the water,
the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away,
and the eunuch saw him no more,
but continued on his way rejoicing.
Philip came to Azotus, and went about proclaiming the good news
to all the towns until he reached Caesarea.

When I was a kid, I had lofty dreams about growing up and doing this, and growing up and doing that. How I’d get rich and have three houses and four cars and a large collection of John Deere tractors. Then as you continue to grow up, you start realizing what’s important and what’s not. Like the old saying goes, If you want God to laugh, tell him YOUR plans. No, it doesn’t always end up like we planned. The older I get the more I realize that when i do things God’s way, peace and joy fill my life. If I want to do it my way, it may feel good at first, but then the emptiness grows. The emptiness that only God can fill. God has a way of leading us to places where we never expected, or don’t even want to go.

In today’s reading from Acts the Ethiopian eunuch is on his way home from visiting Jerusalem. This isn’t your ordinary guy here. No Luke tells us that he holds the checkbook for the queen. Most likely when he left home as a Jew he never ever thought he’d come home as a Christian. He had never heard of Jesus Christ. He had never witnessed Jesus.

I am sure that when Philip got up that morning he never thought he’d be meeting a member of the Queen of Ethiopia’s government on the side of the road reading Isaiah and pondering it’s meaning. Certainly he didn’t ever think he’d be preaching the Gospel to him and baptizing him on the side of the road either. However as Christians, we are called to serve the Lord. Sometimes that service isn’t where we want, who it’s with or the time we want it to be.

Peace comes internally with the acceptance of who’s really in charge.

Thought for the day: What is preventing you from surrendering to God and His plan for you?

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