Acts 8:26-29

Meanwhile is a powerful word.

All Philip knows as he starts walking is what the angel said: At noon, take the road that leads from Jerusalem to Gaza (v. 26). Most of us get a gentle nudging, an inkling of what God wants us to do. Philip got a timetable and directions.

That’s a weighty experience, receiving such direct instruction from God. But meanwhile… God was up to so much more. God always is. And Philip’s “yes” puts him in a position to be a part of it.

My husband and I had been hiking for three days. We were exhausted, dehydrated, and less than half a mile from the road where a shuttle driver was to pick us up and take us to a mythical place with soft, clean towels and hot running water. Just beyond the summit of the steep, grassy bald we had climbed was a path that would lead us off the trail and down the mountain. But we missed it. In a blustery downpour we couldn’t see the turnoff. We slogged a quarter of a mile beyond it in boots that could now function as rain gauges. I prayed for lightning so I could lift both hands to the sky and be done.

But, meanwhile… six friends emerged up the side of the hill, running towards us, their picnic interrupted. It had been raining for over 30 minutes, but there they appeared, laughing in delight, as if any other ending to their day would’ve been disappointing. When we asked if they knew the way to the road, the tallest one smiled. “Follow us.”

Hikers on the Appalachian Trail call them trail angels, those people who show up at just the right time. Maybe they are God’s people who say “yes” and converge with God’s meanwhile.


What is God nudging you to do? Who knows how your “yes” may converge in the meanwhile with a need God is preparing to meet in someone else’s life?


God, sometimes we dismiss your nudgings as insignificant. We see only our small part of the story. Help us trust in your big picture. Amen.

This post originally appeared in Volume 26.3 of Reflections.

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