Rhoda Timeout – by Carol

Have you ever had a Rhoda timeout? It’s a moment in time when instead of saying “hey guys, timeout” – you literally have a moment where even you weren’t prepared for your own actions.

Rhoda (only mentioned once in the Bible) was a young slave girl, by all accounts a Christian, as she was part of the prayer meeting hosted in Mark’s mother’s house. The kind of house where you turn up and you know you’re always welcome! Peter was in jail and this time there seemed little hope that they would ever see him again. So what do they do anyway? Why, have a prayer meeting of course!

While they were fervently, praying a scene was unfolding in jail that not many people had ever witnessed or even imagined they would ever see. Peter was no longer the young impatient, impulsive disciple who denied Jesus or wanted to build shrines in honour of Jesus, Moses and Elijah on the mount of transfiguration. He was a seasoned man of God. In fact, so steady was his faith that when the angel turned up to rescue him, bathing the jail cell in the brightest light, he was so sound asleep that the angel had to whack him to wake him. He had no qualms about dying or that he might never see his friends again. Peter indeed was as steady as a rock. He also knew his friends were interceding and that either way he’d be alright. For Peter to live was Christ and to die was gain.

Peter got up, the shackles simply falling off and at the angels’ instructions, put on his shoes and walked right out of the locked prison doors. Two guards had been posted either side of him and they continued to sleep like babies.

Peter went straight to Mark’s mother’s house. We assume that either the angels had given him instructions as to where he should go or he simply knew this was the place where his friends would be praying for him. He knocks on the door and as it is opened, ever so slightly, and he would have stepped inside, it shuts in his face. Imagine Peter’s surprise. He probably looked up and down the dark street. He had after all just walked out of a locked prison and the guards were surely looking for him (unless they were still soundly asleep of course!)

Rhoda had meanwhile been so surprised to see Peter, she shuts the door and runs inside, back to the prayer meeting and shouts,

“Peter is at the door!”

You can just see the surprise on everyone’s face as they register what Rhoda was saying. It probably took a few seconds for everyone to get to the door and usher Peter inside, amazed at the miracle. Can you imagine the story Peter tells them as they give him something to eat and drink?

Have you had a Rhoda timeout where everything seems so impossible, that you can’t imagine anything ever being quite normal again? This lock down period, because of the pandemic we’ve been experiencing, has been pretty dramatic across the globe. Our greatest lesson here is that God’s faithfulness knows no limits, irrespective of where we find ourselves. There is no situation too difficult for God. He even cares about the details as we see the angel waking Peter and then telling him to put his shoes on. Give your situation to God today and then leave it at His feet.

Can we pray for you?

Lord we bring our sister and brother before you – no matter where in the world they are reading this. We pray that you would walk into their situation just as you commissioned that angel to walk into Peter’s jail cell. Take care of them Lord and hear their hearts’ cry and grant them the peace that passes all understanding in Jesus name.

If you prayed this prayer, email us – we’d love to pray for you as well.