November 20 – Not What He Expected

Acts 11-12

I had one of those laugh-outloud moments again this morning as I read these chapters. Peter had just been miraculously freed from jail. An angel appeared in his cell where Peter slept, chained with two chains and lying between two soldiers. Guards were watching the prison, too.

But the angel told Peter to get up quickly. The chains fell off! Peter put on his shoes and coat and he followed the angel right past the guards. When they came to a gate, the gate opened all by itself. Peter was free! What an adrenaline rush.

Peter hurried to tell his friends what had happened to him. I can imagine his excitement. And we know how excitable Peter could be. He probably couldn’t wait to share the good news. I’m sure his heart was pounding in his chest.

So here’s what made me laugh out loud. A servant girl, Rhoda, answered what was probably Peter’s frantic knocking on the door. When she heard his voice and recognized it as belonging to the jailed apostle, she didn’t open the door. Instead she ran back to the other disciples to tell them Peter was there.

So here’s Peter, full of anticipation and excitement with the most amazing news to share. His hand was probably on the door knob, ready and eager to enter, when he realized he was alone. The door hadn’t  opened.

Not exactly the reception he’d imagined, I’m sure.

Of course, eventually they opened the door and let him in. He was able to share what had happened. But the moment was gone. Perhaps a little of the wind in his sails died a bit.

Sometimes people who come to the Lord have the same experience as Peter had. They meet the Savior. They ask Him to forgive them and for the first time in their lives they know what real joy is. They are washed clean, a new person in Christ, set free from the chains of sin. And they want to tell those closest to them.

So with excitement and anticipation, they burst on the scene to share the details of their conversion, only to be met with blank stares and cold shoulders. Not the reception they’d imagined.

But learn from what Peter did. He kept knocking until his friends opened the door. And I think God would have us do the same. If God has blessed you, if you have witnessed His hand in a situation, or if you’ve come to know Him for the first time, and your friends and loved ones don’t share your excitement, don’t stop knocking.

Keep talking about the Lord, keep pointing them to the Savior. Because one day, like in Peter’s case, I believe that door will open and you’ll be able to share the most incredible news with the people you love.

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