"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." Acts 8:26
I love this part of the first reading. How many of us get such explicit directions from angels? I would love to be led me that way, but it doesn’t happen very often. Most of us probably think that would never happen today… but why not? All things are possible with God. Maybe we just need to listen more closely?
Years ago a friend of mine was going through a very hard time and sensed the Lord was calling her to get away for awhile. She was raising 5 small children and her husband had been unfaithful. She continued to love him and eventually he chose to break up with his girlfriend and stay in their marriage. As things got back to normal, she packed an overnight bag; asked him to watch the kids for a few days and started driving. Just like the reading above, God directed her, and she knew which way to go at every crossroad. She ended up that evening in a big city four hours from home in front of a building. She was reluctant to go to the door, but knowing God had led her there, she did. When the person opened the door they said, "We’ve been expecting you."
How amazing is that?!?! The Lord had directed her to a prayer group and as they had been praying that night, the Spirit told them that a woman was coming who needed their love and care. She stayed with one of the members for several days and was ministered to and felt healed and renewed when she went back home. God provided all that she needed to forgive her husband and to be able to have a wonderful life with him. Thank you Lord!
I know this story is extreme, but I believe God wants to guide us in smaller ways too. How often do we make plans and then ask the Lord to bless them; rather than praying first and asking the Lord to help us make our plans? We are so used to relying on ourselves for everything that we may not even think of including God until something goes wrong. I think God cares about EVERY part of our lives, and will be involved to the degree that we invite Him in. "Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths." Prov. 3: 5-6
Janice Carleton and her husband Jim live in Portland, OR and partner with Passionist Fr. Cedric Pisegna in Fr. Cedric Ministries. Janice also leads women’s retreats. She is the mother of 4 grown children and grandmother of 2, soon to be 3. Visit Janice’s website at http://www.jcarleton.com/ or email her at [email protected]/org