When You Wonder, “What Was That All About?”

When You Wonder, “What Was That All About?”


A few years ago I was asked to take over a ministry that had been impacting a community in Mexico for over 10 years. We moved to Acapulco.

One year later we were closing up shop and driving away. I ended up shutting down the ministry. (Not exactly a resume-builder.) It was baffling to me. I felt like I had failed. But I was sure I had obeyed.

I love the story in Acts 8 of Philip. God tells him to go to a random place in the desert. No explanation. But Philip obeyed. There he ends up meeting a royal official from Ethiopia who is trying to read the book of Isaiah. Philip explains Jesus and salvation to the Ethiopian. The guy gets baptized and then Philip gets supernaturally transported away to an undisclosed location. Crazy, right?

No follow up on the story in the Bible. Did the Ethiopian go home and lead tons of people to Jesus? Did he die in a four-chariot crash on the ride home? Who knows. I bet Philip often wondered.

There’s a joke about a guy who opens his door and finds a snail on the ground. He picks up the snail, looks at it, then throws it across the yard. A year later the man hears a knock on his door. He opens it to find the snail on the ground. The snail looks up and says, “Hey. What was that all about?”  I felt like that snail.

If you are following Jesus the way he wants I’m pretty convinced there are going to be seasons of life where you look up at the Big Guy and, like the snail, ask “What was that all about?”

I don’t know if we’ll get answers on this side of the space-time continuum. But I do know this. If you’ve obeyed what he asked, then you win.

If you are obeying what God put in your heart and find yourself taking what seems to be a detour – take courage. God is still working. I wish I could tell you what he’s doing. But I’m confused about 88% of the time. Just stay faithful and stay obedient.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Phil. 1:6