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. 7 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands. 8 And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” 9 And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. (Acts 12:1-19)
Wow. Whacked upside the head by an angel! Now that’s a wake up call! But even that wake-up whack didn’t help Peter wake to his senses.
“Now put on your clothes, Peter. Okay, now put on your sandals, Peter.”
Step by step, command by command.
“Don’t forget your coat, Peter. Now Zip it up, Peter……..Okay, come on, here we go.”
Peter was getting accustomed to spiritual happenings, but it wasn’t until he was out of danger did he understand all that had taken place.
When my son was little he would wake up with night terrors. Eyes wide open. Mumbling nonsense. Scared. His subconscious unable to reckon with his consciousness.
Like Peter, he thought he was awake. And like the angel, I’d have to take him through a whole string of commands, patiently nudging him past the confusion in this land of in-between, waiting for him to really wake, or fall gently back to sleep.
This sleeping wakefulness always baffled me as a mom, “….How can someone whose eyes are open, not see the truth of what’s going on around them?”
I suppose it’s not any different for my spiritual life: two separate realities existing in truth side by side. The one I walk in flesh. The one I walk in spirit… And then there’s the land of in-between: Can I always assume that I’m awake to the Truth of what’s going on around me?
I am an adult, promised the mind of Christ – His sheep, promised the assurance of his voice. He is the way, the truth and the life and He will lead me into all truth.
But I am also a child.
And I’m being led by a great God whose thoughts are above my thoughts and whose ways are not my ways. (Is. 55: 7-9)
The reality is there are still places where my spirit lies sleeping in the midnight watches waiting for my rescuer. The reality is there are still times I need Him to take my hand, need Him to talk me through the fog of Life – step by step – and break me out from prison walls.
…There reality is? Every blurry now and then, I need a loving smack-upside-the-head from a loving straight-to-the-heart God.
Jesus, you’ve led me by the hand and staged prison breaks on my behalf more times that I can count. In fact, most the time I didn’t even know the fix I was in, until I was breathing the air of freedom. Keep waking me, Lord. Keep leading me, Lord.
I know I can’t take the credit, but I can give credit where credit is due.
And I will, Jesus …You are an amazing God.