Wednesday is one of my favorite days of the week, because some excellent “word” happens not only here, but on other blogs around the web. If you’ve never checked out Jessica Patch’s blog for her version of Word Wednesday, you’re’ missing out! As always here, check out this week’s book (Acts) and let us know in the comments what God says to you. Next week, we roll full steam into Romans!
Acts 12: 5-6a, 7b (NIV)–So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. The night before Herod was to bring him to trial… the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.
I cut a verse because I wanted to pull the two major things that “get me” together.
Peter is in prison. Herod has just put James to death, which pleases the Jews, so he snags Peter. From the outside, things are bleak. He’s in prison under heavy guard with certain persecution and almost certain death hanging over him. Believers all over gather to pray for Peter.
For days, nothing happens. Peter stays chained and under guard. It seems God is silent. Then, on the night before Peter’s “trial…”
With God, there is no last minute, is there? Oh, for us it sure feels that way, when we’ve prayed and prayed and we’re thirty seconds to zero hour and still waiting, yep… That sure feels like desperation to me.
But here’s what I love about this story… The church kept praying. It’s the night before Peter will be brought forth for a sham trial, and there’s no record of them giving up, no hint of despair. In fact, when Peter shows up at Mary’s house, it’s filled with people praying even up to the “last minute.” They never gave up on God, never stopped believing He could free Peter. And look what happened! Peter showed up at the door, free as only God can make a man, just before the last grain of sand dropped from the hourglass.
It’s so easy to give up, isn’t it? Despair is a lot easier to sink into than hope is to hang onto sometimes. There’s a major lesson here, and I think it’s that we shouldn’t try to put God into our boxes. Time isn’t relevant to Him, action is. And boy, aren’t we glad He’s not like us? “Just in the nick of time,” He saves us. And His timing is always right. I love it.
Now, if I could just remember it…