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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Sleeping in the Midst of It All

Acts 12:1-6, "1 Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. 2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. 3 And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) 4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. 5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. 6 And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison."

Did you see that word I highlighted? Peter was SLEEPING in the midst of the soldiers. Now I've read this passage of Scripture like a million times, and I never caught how important that one little word really was.
On Sunday night, Brother Larry Brown preached on this subject. He talked about how we can find rest in the midst of a trial.
I mean think about it, in verse 2 it talks about how Herod had taken James and killed him. Since that made the Jews happy, Herod went for a bigger fish, Peter. Now Peter had to assume that Herod intended to kill him as well.
So here's Peter chained in prison with 16 soldiers guarding him, pretty much waiting for death. Yet he was asleep. Do you think that he was asleep because he knew that God was going to send an angel to save him?
I don't think so. Look at this verse from Acts 12:9, "9 And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision."
When the angel came to Peter, Peter thought he was dreaming. He wasn't even sure that the angel was real. No, I really think that Peter thought he would die at the hands of Herod. But that fact didn't bother him. In fact he was so UN-worried about the situation that he fell asleep right in the middle of those soldiers.
Why wasn't he worried? Because he trusted in the Savior that he preached about. He was willing to give his life for the cause of Christ. I'm sure that Peter knew that God could save his life, but he didn't expect it. He just trusted that God was in control no matter what happened to him. That strong trust in God gave Peter a peace beyond understanding. (Philippians 4:7)
So the question is, do you have that kind of peace? Do you fall asleep at night knowing that God is in control no matter what you are going through?
Or do you pace the floors worrying about what will happen next? If so, take a lesson from Peter. Put your trust in the One who can handle it all, and you too will be able to sleep in the midst of it all!


At 7:07 AM, Blogger Janet Rubin said...

Great, Heather! That's a story that gives me hope. It took a long time for Peter to learn that kind of trust. On that stormy night, Peter sank because he took his eyes off Jesus. On the night Jesus was crucified he denied him, afraid of men. In Galatians Paul rebukes him for being wishy washy, not eating with the Gentiles because he feared the Judaizers. By this point, Peter is starting to figure it out. God's in control, come what may. Someday I'll get it too!

At 7:35 AM, Anonymous Crystal said...

Good post Heather!! I could have used this days ago. Love ya Little sis.

At 10:25 AM, Blogger Susanne said...

Yes, I think Peter learned step by step from his lessons with Jesus and developed that trust in the Lord. I think that is the key for us too! We need to remember everytime what God has done for us so that we have a "stockpile" of things to remind us and build up our faith and trust in the Lord, when hard times come. Excellent post, Heather.

At 11:11 AM, Blogger Kelly Klepfer said...

Great devotion.

Thank you.

and He leads us by still waters and makes us lie down in green pastures, and sets a table in the midst of our enemies....

I need those reminders. What a silly sheep I am.

At 12:24 PM, Blogger kpjara said...

I'm so not there yet!

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