I was doing my daily Bible reading this past week (one that take me through the New Testament in 60 days) and I had an epiphany. Definition 3 on dictionary.com for epiphany reads: “a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.”
I was reading about Peter’s Miraculous Escape from Prison in Acts 12. King Herod had killed James, the brother of John. This pleased the Jews. So, perhaps in a politically motivated move, he arrested Peter. It would seem that Peter’s fate was sealed.
What was Peter’s mindset the night before his “trial” (the night that was very likely the night before his execution)? Acts 12:6-10 tells us Peter was sleeping peacefully between two guards when an angel woke him up and led him to freedom.
But what was the church doing while Peter peacefully slept in his prison cell? Acts 12:12-17 records Peter interrupting a prayer meeting on his behalf at the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark.
Peter slept. Why would he sleep? Because he trusted in God! He knew Jesus had said he would “grow old” (John 21:18), perhaps he had grown as old as he was going to get. Perhaps he knew that whatever happened God would be glorified...whether he lived or died.
The church prayed. Why would they pray? Because they trusted in God! For what did they pray? We don’t know. We can surmise they were not expecting Peter to be released (either miraculously or otherwise) - notice their disbelief of Rhoda in verse 15.
Peter was likely going to be executed the next day. That night, Peter slept and the church prayed. Two totally different responses to a stressful situation, but both showing complete trust in God.
When the stresses of life are at a full boil, how should you respond? When it seems like things cannot get any worse for you, what should you do? Pray...and sleep. Fully trust that God has everything under control and that whatever happens will bring glory to Him!