Acts 8: 26-40 (NIV)
26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch,an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet.29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”
30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.
31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
32 This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading:
“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice.
Who can speak of his descendants?
For his life was taken from the earth.”
34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good newsabout Jesus.
36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?”  38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.
There’s so much to say about this passage. The high-ranking Ethiopian official must have been quite a sight. I imagine him in ornate, luxuriant clothing, the fabrics glistening in the Palestinian heat. I see Philip in not much more than rags, dusty and baking in the sun.
Yet here we have one of the most extraordinary meetings in the whole Bible. Not only is the Ethiopian thirsting to find God, at the very point Philip arrives he is reading a passage from Isaiah which speaks about Jesus.
The Ethiopian has the humility to ask for guidance and Philip has the confidence and knowledge to help. The result of this unlikeliest of meetings is a life changed and a new follower of Christ. Both men take a leap of courage.
And that – courage – is something we need in our faith lives. Having the bravery to stop what we’re doing and ask God to change us is something most of us struggle with. We float nearer and further from God through our lives, like driftwood on the tide. We often fail to think about whether the tide is coming in or going out. Stepping back, taking a spiritual deep breath and uttering a prayer for guidance does not come readily to our rebellious, nervous hearts.
There’s never a bad time to rediscover God: when times are good, we can learn real gratitude and insights of stewardship and love; when times are hard, we learn that we are loved and never alone. God is waiting for us. Have we got the courage to ask?
Father God, help me rediscover you today. Strip away my pride and fears and bring me close to you. Fill me with the presence of your Holy Spirit so I may be calm, courageous and confident to face what the day will bring. Amen.