Friday, May 22, 2020
And behold, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter’s side and woke him up, saying, “Get up quickly.” And his chains fell off his hands. And the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.”
I recently read an amazing story about an unusual occurrence that happened to Tracy Daniels and her family when she was 16 years old. I’ll paraphrase it for you.
One winter night, an unexpected sound awakened the Daniels while they were sleeping. It was the fire alarm. Mr. Daniels (who was a pastor at the time) dashed down the stairs, while Tracy and her sister scurried to their bedroom door. He eventually came back up the stairs, heaving a sigh of confusion. “I don’t understand it,” he said.
Tracy asked him if he had checked everywhere, and he assured her he had. They cautiously made their way back to their respective beds, when suddenly Mrs. Daniels cried out, “The coffee pot at church! I left it on after the gathering!”
In an instant, her husband darted down the stairs again and disappeared out the door. The three girls waited anxiously for his return. Mrs. Daniels felt especially nervous at the thought that she might be responsible for burning down the church.
Sometime later, however, her husband returned with surprising news. “The coffee pot was still on,” he said, “but it had just started smoking when I arrived. Now I understand why our alarm went off!”
Was that a coincidence? Not even close. That was the providence of God at work in the lives of His people. God doesn’t always work in such a miraculous way, but when He does it is impossible to forget!
In Acts 12:7-8, Peter is sitting in prison, having been placed there by Herod. He has no way out. Christians are meeting in fear for Peter’s life and praying for him. But then something amazing happens. It isn’t just that Peter escapes; it is the way he escapes.
God doesn’t pluck Peter up from the prison cell and drop him in the middle of that nervous prayer meeting. He performs little miracles along the way—guards unaware; chains falling off; doors opening automatically. He allows uncertainty to follow Peter at every step so that each miracle is magnified.
John Calvin commented on this passage by saying, “God gives His saints several miracles to talk about for generation after generation.”
God doesn’t just work in mysterious ways, He works in miraculous ways. Today, we may not see seas parting or donkeys talking or Christians walking out of prison unnoticed, but that doesn’t mean God’s work in our lives is any less miraculous.
He is still involved. He is still directing events with His sovereign hand. And He is still assuring us of His presence in unforgettable ways.
As you look back at your walk with Christ, do you have stories like Tracy’s? Stories where God showed His immanence to you in an undeniable way? Spend time thanking God for those glimpses into His power and goodness. Then share the stories with others around you who need encouragement today.
Extra Refreshment: Read all of Acts chapter 12, and put yourself in Peter’s shoes as he makes his unexpected journey from a prison cell to a prayer meeting.