From Joy to a Desert Place

From Joy to a Desert Place

Written by Jon Spargo.

Act 8:25  And they, when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.
Act 8:26  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.

“God, this can’t be right. This situation is too difficult…surely, I’m not supposed to be here.”

Have you ever felt that way? Have the trials and difficulties of life loomed so tall and dark that you were certain you made a wrong turn?

When I graduated college, the only door of opportunity for me was working as a Bible teacher in the school where my dad was the pastor. That was never my intent, but it seemed to be the path God wanted me to walk, so I committed. I would enter the teaching world by managing 3 Bible classes comprised of 7th-12th grade students. It was new, challenging, and daunting- but I was ready for it. Then I was called into the principal’s office a few weeks prior to the beginning of the school year.

Mr. Policastro sat across his desk from me and gave it to me straight. They were in need of a high school English teacher, and because I had enough college credits to qualify for the spot, I was the guy- and didn’t have much say in the matter. Fresh out of college, newly married, and suddenly teaching 7th-12th grade Bible and 7th-12th grade English. Not exactly what I had in mind.

I can honestly say I’ve never been that stressed before or since. I even threatened to quit and told my dad I couldn’t do it. But slowly, I realized I was in that tough spot because I walked through a door I knew God wanted me to walk through.

And in that I found peace.

Reading the account of Philip in Acts 8, it may not seem like a big moment initially, but look carefully at verses 25 and 26. God is doing a great work in Jerusalem and many Samaritain villages. People are trusting Christ left and right. Can you imagine the excitement?

Then God speaks to Philip and calls him into the desert. Uhhh, what?

Scripture doesn’t say, but I have to wonder if Philip had a hard time with that command. What in the desert- a hot, dry, empty, forsaken area- could possibly be better than being a part of thousands of people coming to Christ?

The answer: just one man.

God sent Philip to literally just one man….but God knew something Philip didn’t know. This one man would take the Gospel into back to his home in Ethiopia. And this wasn’t just any guy- he was influential in the court of the Queen of Ethiopia.

No matter how discouraging or empty the desert seemed, Philip was in the best place because God called him there.

As you daily walk with and follow God, don’t become discouraged by the problems and difficulties of this life. If you know you are in God’s will, those challenges are exactly what God wants you to experience.

Take heart. He is with you.

1 Comment
  • Jeremy G Posted August 21, 2022 5:36 am

    There are so many words that could be said right now, but first, I want to say that I could not possibly personally connect more with this right now. This is profoundly descriptive of the current chapter that I am experiencing in my life ? ? ❤

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