Why the Surprise?
Acts 12:6-14:20Acts 12:11-16, “Peter finally came to his senses. ‘It’s really true!' he said. ‘The Lord has sent his angel and saved me from Herod and from what the Jewish leaders had planned to do to me!’ When he realized this, he went to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where many were gathered for prayer. He knocked at the door in the gate, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to open it. When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that, instead of opening the door, she ran back inside and told everyone, ‘Peter is standing at the door!’’ You’re out of your mind!’ they said. When she insisted, they decided, ’It must be his angel.’ Meanwhile, Peter continued knocking. When they finally opened the door and saw him, they were amazed.”
Knock-knock! ““Who’s there?”“ I can’t believe.”“ I can’t believe who?”“I can’t believe my prayer has been answered!”
Even though, as Christ-followers, we firmly believe in the power of prayer, how many times have we been blown away that God "actually responded" right away? Why does it take us by such surprise? Perhaps it's because, in His infinite wisdom, He often answers prayers differently than we expect. Nonetheless, God does answer many prayers "effective immediately" because He is, after all, the mysteriously miraculous, all-powerful Creator of the universe!
Such bewilderment occurred in today's reading as Peter knocked on the door of a house filled with people who had been praying for his miraculous prison release. But as the answered prayer incarnate stood outside knocking, his friends hesitated to believe it was him! They automatically jumped to the conclusion, ”It must be an angel" instead of assuming that God had orchestrated a supernatural jailbreak
The group's response is so typical; it's a classic example of how human logic so quickly downplays God's ability and deduces that an answered prayer must be merely a coincidence or stroke of luck. But we can't forget that God works miracles and responds to our needs constantly. We miss it because they aren't wrapped in lightning bolts or flashing neon signs, but in the form of changed minds, softened hearts, healed bodies, mended relationships, and the miracle of each infant born in God's image.
So, pay attention and look for God's hand in the unexpected. And never stop being in awe of "everyday miracles" and answered prayers!
Heavenly Father, Thank You for answering my prayers. Help me recognize that Your responses often come in unexpected ways. Open my heart and eyes the miraculous works of Your mighty hand constantly at play. Let me always be in awe of Your power and steadfast presence. In Jesus’ name, Amen.