Hopeless. Discouraged. Too far out of God’s reach. Trapped. Bound in chains. No possible way out.
You have screamed, you have cried, been let down and given up. You have begged for God’s deliverance, and pleaded with him to leave you alone in the same breath.
…But will you notice?
Peter was in the same spot…
Though he had people praying for him day and night, it couldn’t have felt like it! He was imprisoned, and taken captive by the same people who had just murdered his friend. Each of his wrists were fastened with chains, all while guards stood on each side of him watching his every move (There were even guards guarding his guards!)
Peter’s circumstances were the definition of pure and utter hopelessness!
That is, until… “there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of The Lord stood before Peter and said “quick! Get up!” and the chains fell off…“Acts 12:7
Surely Peter noticed! ….Certainly he saw his miraculous deliverance in action!?!…. The answer to every prayer he cried out to God in the darkness of his cell!?!? …. The very chains that bound him to a complete and utterly hopeless future just falling to his feet!?!
But it says, “…Peter left the cell, following the angel. But at the time he thought it was a vision. He didn’t realize it was actually happening!”
The angel then led him past the first guard post…. The second guard post… And then to the iron gate leading to city -leading to his freedom!
But still, Peter didn’t notice!
Only when the angel had disappeared, and Peter had been completely delivered from his circumstances did he finally come to his senses!
“…It’s really true! The Lord has sent his angel and saved me…”
Duh, Peter. Duh…
But let’s be honest, me and Peter have more in common than I’d like to admit!
I could never have known that today I’d be bound by chains and enveloped in darkness. I had promising plans and ‘happily ever afters’ in store for my future, and absolutely no inclination that the life I loved – the life I had once dreamed of- would seemingly fall apart in a single moment.
Like Peter I have people all over the world fervently on their knees for me. (And god only knows, how many prayers I have cried out to Him myself…)
But like Peter, will I notice my deliverance?
….Will I notice that what rocked my world and broke my heart on a Friday, would have debilitated me forever had I found out just a week later?
….Will I notice that just days after my world came crashing, that I had a previously scheduled trip to go home and be with my family – more specifically, my Mama – the person I needed most at that time!
….Will I notice that while my best friend, my confidant, my soul sister (aka Urban Hallelujah’s finest, R-to the-ACHEL!) moved far FAR away from me just over a year ago, that by some crazy turn of events I would end up moving to the exact same area – all the way across the country, completely unrelated, and just when I would need a shoulder to cry on!
Or will I just chalk that all up to coincidence?
What’s it going to take for me to come to my senses like Peter?
What is it going to take for me to notice God leading me out of my most dire circumstances? His deliverance that doesn’t come a moment too late? His impeccable timing and his life-breathing gifts? The events He puts on the calendar long before I am able to fully comprehend their purpose?
Like Peter, we have prayed fervently, and complied by following The Lord,
…And like Peter, our God WILL save us!