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Dustin, Rhoda, and Peter’s Prayer Meeting Buddies

I just called Misty to be sure what I¬† heard was accurate…and it is. Dustin is to be released from the hospital this week–probably by Friday! It seems unbelievable to me, given the severe and extensive injuries he sustained a mere eight days ago. Just last Sunday when we visited him, he didn’t even open his eyes, although I know he had done so at other times. Now, he is fully aware, and scheduled to be released by the weekend.

Why should I be shocked? Have we not been praying? Have not people told us they were fasting for these families? Have not thousands of people joined in extreme and faithful prayer? Yes! Why then am I shocked? Why are you shocked?

I remind myself of that long-ago day recorded in the 12th chapter of Acts after Herod had killed James and had thrown Peter into jail. A bunch of Christians gathered over at Mary’s house for a prayer meeting; after all Peter was their leader, and here he was, a prisoner. Time for a prayer meeting. Time to pray Peter out of jail.

Meanwhile, there were rumblings over at the city jail. An angel flitted into Peter’s cell, poked him in the side, and said, Get up. Uh, get up? Yes, get up, Peter. Put on your shoes and socks, throw something about you, and follow me.

Peter did as he was told, not understanding, thinking perhaps he was dreaming, but the chains had fallen off his hands as he first arose; would that be in a dream? Quietly they crept–the angel and the man–past the first ward, past the second ward, then to the iron city gate which opened of its own accord, and finally through one city street.

The angel left Peter then. Poof. Disappeared. Peter was now standing in the dark of night–an escaped prisoner, startled and bewildered at what had just happened. Finally his senses kicked in, and he said, “…The Lord hath delivered me…” Think I’ll go over to Mary’s house.

Peter’s banging on the door interrupted the prayer meeting, and somebody sent Rhoda to see what was going on. She must have asked, “Who’s there?” for verse 14 says, “And when she knew Peter’s voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate.”

You’re mad, Rhoda. Can’t be Peter. He’s in jail, remember.

“It’s Peter, I tell you,” Rhoda insisted.

Rhoda, there’s something wrong with you.”

No, there’s not. Peter is standing at the gate, I tell you.”

Finally¬† they all went to the door–all the unbelieving prayer meeting buddies–and sure enough, there stood Peter. They must have yelled out in astonishment when they saw him, for Peter “beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison…”

I feel like one of Peter’s unbelieving prayer meeting buddies today. But the news is real, it’s true. In an astonishing way, Dustin has been touched by God, and is scheduled to be released from the hospital by Friday.