Back in Jerusalem, the believers are facing trials. Herod is executing leaders. Peter is thrown into prison with 16 guards. In the middle of the night Peter seems to have a vision. I have had dreams so real I have thrown myself out of bed into the wall avoiding the danger I saw approaching. My sister claims my brother would sleep walk and get a midnight snack. Peter is double chained between two of the guards when an angel hits him to wake him. His chains fall off and he is told to get up, get dressed and get going. The jail door opens and Peter really wakes up a block away realizing that his dream was real and he was out of jail. He drew the “get out of jail free” card. Not all early Christians were so lucky. Many died a martyr’s death in the areana or as living torches.
The issue, I think, is not to question the scientific truth of each detail in Peter’s story but to realize that God can, should he choose, rescue us in ways we would never have anticipated. God can work outside the boxes we put him in. Faith may not be that we know the answer to the problem we are facing and praying it into reality but rather knowing the God who holds our lives in his hands and finding peace in him. Despair may be seeing the edges of our problems as cement walls and hope may be realizing that these edges are permeable. God can walk through doors we think are closed.
Perhaps you are facing a dilemma that seems impossible. Rather than pray about a solution that you think would work, spend a minute today to ask God to open your heart to see him working in new and mysterious ways for his glory. If all seems on track, spend time praying about the problems facing our country now, congressional divide, war in Ukraine, economy, and deep anger that erupts hurting others. Many of these seems as hopeless as Peter imprisoned with 16 guards but our text assures us that no problem is too big for God. Praise his name.