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  • Stacy Sanchez

Call Me Rhoda

“When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying. Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door. When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “‘Peter is at the door!’” “‘You’re out of your mind,’” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “‘It must be his angel.’”

But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. Peter motioned with his hand for them to be quiet and described how the Lord had brought him out of prison. “Tell James and the other brothers and sisters about this,” he said, and then he left for another place” (Acts 12:12-19 NIV).

Hi! Just call me Rhoda.

Does anyone else forget why they’ve come into a room? I should hear a resounding “Me!” from all my menopausal women friends.

“I know I came in here for something. But for the life of me, I can’t remember what it was. Oh, look! A cookie!

Before leaving the house, I sing a little ditty called “Keys, Glasses, Phone, and Purse” so I’ll be sure to remember everything. I run from room to room, in search of my sunglasses that are on my head and wonder where I put my phone that is inevitably in my hand. My husband says that I just have too much information stored in my brain, and so I let the unimportant details go to make more room. Bless his heart. I’m not so sure I have a lot going on up there, but something is definitely going: my memory.

Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door. When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “‘Peter is at the door!’” (Acts 12:13-14)

About ten years after Jesus’s ascension to heaven, the church was growing by leaps and bounds. Those who followed Jesus faced intense persecution by the religious leaders. To endear himself to those leaders, King Herod Agrippa had the disciple, James, the brother of John, arrested and beheaded. Herod saw this made the religious leaders extremely happy, so to continue in their good graces, Herod arrested and jailed Peter with the intent to torture and kill him, as well.

Fear gripped the disciples. Who would be the next victim of the king’s whims? As Peter languished in the prison cell, Jesus' followers gathered at the home of John Mark’s mother to fast and pray for Peter’s release and for their safety.

In the wee hours of the night, the man who they thought to be the next on the chopping block was rescued. God sent an angel to release Peter from prison. The Bible states that Peter “had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. (vs 9) No one expected Peter to escape death—especially Peter.

Rhoda’s reaction when Peter showed up at the front door is priceless and so relatable. I, too, would have been so excited that Peter was alive and knocking that I’d forget to open the door, leaving him standing there to wonder what in the world had just happened.

Have you ever been so excited about God’s miraculous work in your life that it left you dumbfounded? I have. God has intervened numerous times in my life, and every time I am just as amazed as if it were the first time.

As I read their stories, I want to tell the disciples hiding in John Mark’s mother’s house that they’ve seen God do multiple miracles before. He raised Jesus from the dead. Don’t you think He can release Peter from prison and protect you? Or remind them that God has always provided for His people. I’ve had to repent from wanting to say, “Duh!”

But truthfully, I have sometimes resembled the faithless people of the Bible. When faced with a terrible situation, I forget that God has always provided for me, too. Sadly, my knee-jerk reaction is like that of Rhoda, to run away screaming.

God calls us, His beloved, to a deeper relationship with Him where fear finds no place to take root. Thankfully, when God calls us to something, He equips us for it. As we face hardships of any kind, God is already on the other side of it, guiding us to stronger faith. I hope to become a person who is so accustomed to God’s miraculous work that I just expect Him to show up and am not surprised when He does.  

Forgive me, Lord, when I am faithless. Strengthen my faith so I may be bold. These times call for bold disciples who are willing to face fear and stand for righteousness. Help us be a generation marked by faith.

Can you identify with Rhoda and the disciples she was serving?

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).


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