While You Were Sleeping

Acts 12:6
“Now when Herod was about
to bring him out, on that very night,
Peter was sleeping between two soldiers,
bound with two chains, and sentries
before the door were guarding the prison.”

              Two comical occasions of sleep recorded in the Bible despite the backdrop of peril amaze me.  In Mark four Jesus asleep on a cushion at the stern while the waves are breaking over the boat.  I can just imagine him snoring away as the rivulets of rain and waves are trickling through his hair.  Then with the ease of flicking on a light switch, Jesus awakes and says, “Peace be still.”  The wind and waves bow the knee.

In Acts twelve, Peter is scheduled to be executed for Herod’s entertainment.  Now picture this:  He’s sandwiched between two smelly guards, handcuffed to each of them in cold iron shackles.  Then an Angel literally has to prod him in the side to wake him.  Peter must be in a mouth-wide-open drool flowing on the guard’s toga kind of sleep, and the Angel has to tell him like a parent speaking to kids, “Get your clothes and shoes on Peter!”  Despite the four squads of soldiers, bars, shackles, and death sentence, Peter gets a divine pardon and a good night of sleep.

How are you sleeping these days?

Don’t let that question guilt or shame you.  Instead let it drive you to asking God how Jesus and Peter had perfect rest in situations that the world would label as “Impending Doom”.  They didn’t need sleeping pills, and Jesus wasn’t feverishly grasping for an oar and life jacket.  Our friend Peter wasn’t sulking over a bucket list either.

2 Corinthians 3:17 says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”  That reality can bring rest and peace to the soul when it is received by faith no matter what the circumstance.

By Aaron F. Jeffers


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