November 13, 2016
Two Grateful Hearts
And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. – Acts 8:26
My wife and I live in a small town on the western edge of the Willamette Valley in Oregon. We were building a new home when my doctors discovered I had a very serious affliction. After attempting to get it under control, my oncologist wanted me to go to the hospital for treatment. I managed to stall until we had moved into our new home, and then I was admitted in early December.
While lying awake in my hospital bed in the middle of the night, a nurse came to the door and asked if she could talk with me. She told me how for several years she had worked in a ward where patients stayed for extended periods of time, enabling her to not only care for their physical needs, but to also witness to them about the Gospel. However, she had recently been transferred to a ward where patients stayed for only a few days, which did not give her a chance to get close to them. She was heartbroken.
To this day, I cannot recall one word I said during the next twenty minutes or so, but I will never forget her face with tears streaming down her cheeks as she told me, “Now I know I am where God wants me to be.” Oh, how I rejoiced deep in my heart! I do not know how God led her to my bedside that night, but I have often wondered: If I had gone to the hospital earlier when the doctor first wanted me to, would someone else have been there to offer encouragement that night to a soul in need?
Our focus verse comes from the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch. God sent Philip to minister to the eunuch at just the right moment—when he arrived, the eunuch was reading Scriptures but could not understand what they meant. Philip “preached unto him Jesus” and the eunuch was saved that day! Because Philip was in the center of God’s will and obeyed His leading, God was able to use him in a miraculous way. Philip was in the right place at the right time by God’s plan.
God does not always tell us explicitly where to go or what to say, but if we are submitted to Him and are purposed to live in His perfect will, He can put us where we need to be without us even realizing it. When we do not understand why we are in a certain situation, we can be sure that God has a reason. His timing is perfect and we will rejoice when we see the results of His plan.