By Christin Ditchfield Lazo
A Reading from Acts 16:6-15
6 They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. 7 When they had come opposite Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them; 8 so, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.
11 We therefore set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, 12 and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days. 13 On the Sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there. 14 A certain woman named Lydia, a worshiper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. 15 When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.” And she prevailed upon us.
Over the last few years, we’ve learned a lot about canceled plans, deferments, or postponements. We’ve had to hold things loosely, be flexible, ready to reorganize and reschedule at a moment’s notice. But — whether we use an app or a fancy planner or a legal pad — many of us are finding our days filling up again, our to-do lists as long as ever. Maybe longer. We’re frantically trying to make up for lost time or missed opportunities, squeezing in all kinds of celebrations and memorials and do-overs.
But today’s Scripture reading reminds us how important it is — in the midst of all our prepping and planning — to stay open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. To think not only of ourselves, but of the needs of others. To be willing to hear and answer God’s call.
Even when it feels like one more interruption or disruption.
Even when we’re tired of being flexible, longing for routine and stability, desperately wanting things to get back to “normal.”
All around us there are people who are hurting, suffering or struggling, hungry — physically or spiritually. People whose hearts are open, eager, longing to hear the good news of the gospel, the reason for the hope within us.
We can’t fix all the world’s problems. We can’t reach everyone. But we can be the answer to one person’s prayers. We can help some — simply by being willing to make time and space for “divine appointments,” the interruption or redirection that God sends.
As you go about your day today, keep your eyes and ears open. Ask God to show you where — and to whom — he is sending you. Remember to let him lead the way.
Christin Ditchfield Lazo, M.A. (Bible and Theology), is a best-selling author, conference speaker, and syndicated radio host, passionate about calling believers to a deeper life of faith.
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Daily Devotional Cycle of Prayer
Today we pray for:
The Diocese of Moosonee – The Anglican Church of Canada
The Diocese of New Jersey