You may be surprised to learn that you have a lot in common with the Ethiopian official of yesterday. You are both in the midst of a faith journey. Since embarking on this journey, you have traveled many miles, and many miles still lie ahead. Maybe, like this fellow, you have been wrestling with a problem that you do not know how to solve. You have found yourself becoming confused, even frustrated. You, too, can lift up your eyes and discover that you are not alone!
Yes, someone has been sent to run alongside you. This person is ready to jump into your chariot to guide you. Just as Philip pointed the Ethiopian to Jesus, this person wants to open your eyes. He wants you to see Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away your sins. He wants to convince you that Jesus has prepared a place for you in heaven. He wants to show you that Jesus loves you unreservedly. And just as Philip baptized the Ethiopian, this person wants to wash you clean from the dust of anxiety and self-concern.
Have you guessed who this person is yet? It is the Holy Spirit! Every day, the Spirit invites you to slow down your chariot, even if it is only for a few minutes, and welcome his company. It is not as hard or mysterious as it may seem. Just back away from whatever you are doing, and close your eyes. Take a few long, deep breaths. Then, focus on a Scripture passage, and see what comes to your mind. If the thoughts are encouraging, comforting, or hope filled, that is probably the Holy Spirit speaking to you. Write them down, and keep them with you to look at throughout the day.
If only discouraging, fretful, or resentful thoughts come up, do not despair. Just turn back to the Scripture passage, and try again. Overtime, you will be able to identify the Spirit’s voice and his prompting – and you will begin to sense God’s presence in your life.
So instead of trying to power through your day on your own, take a cue from this Ethiopian official. Slow down your chariot! Invite the Holy Spirit in. Imagine him sitting beside you and speaking to you. Let him be the wise and trustworthy guide you need.
-Word among us