Acts 12:7-8 (NLT)
Suddenly, there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of The Lord stood before Peter. The angel struck him on the side to awaken him and said, “Quick! Get up!” And the chains fell off his wrists. Then the angel told him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” And he did. “Now put on your coat and follow me,” the angel ordered.
Peter is sentenced to die in the morning and yet he’s sleeping.
(Another post all by itself)
Soundly sleeping. God’s angel has to give him a little punch in the side to wake him up! But this is what I notice this morning…what made me stop:
The angel said, “Get dressed. Put on your shoes.” (the message)
Put on your shoes.
In the most dramatic of life-experiences Peter is instructed to put on his shoes. And his coat!
This warms my heart. And sparks a curiosity within me. A scratch-my-head kind of moment. Really, God? You care about us that much? In the details?
The Bible says Peter thought he was having a vision until they reached an intersection on the street and the angel went his own way. Only then did Peter realize he’d actually made it past at least 16 soldiers and through the iron city gate.
Creator knew Peter would need his shoes for walking.
Knew Peter would need his coat.
Maybe you are like me…wondering, almost balking, at this idea that God cares so much about details.
Okay, we know in theory God cares. We’ve heard how He counts the hairs on our head…knows when we sit and rise…knit us together in our mother’s womb. And it sounds wonderful.
But does it translate?
Into our real life? Our needing-a-rescue nights? Deciding-in-our-details days?
I’m thinking if we don’t really believe He cares that much then we aren’t even listening in the details.
Peter didn’t even believe it! Not until he felt the night against his skin and the hard street beneath his feet.
I’m reminded about my own details…
Not long after I’d had Leighton, our third daughter, my oldest was giving a presentation at school. A “wax museum” project in second grade where each student chose a historical person and not only gave an oral presentation, but dressed up as that person, too. Rivers chose Amelia Earhart.
Overwhelmed with fatigue and hormones, tears broke free that morning. Although I’d found a cool little pilot’s cap with attached flying goggles on Amazon, that was it. No one I’d asked had an aviator’s jacket or anything close we could borrow. In the big scheme of life it wasn’t such a deal, but in my shaky emotional and sleep deprived state, it was.
Rivers had worked hard. She’d printed a picture and memorized her little paragraph written from Amelia’s perspective.
I didn’t want to disappoint her.
As I was lying in bed that morning, feeling overwhelmed with my failure at motherhood (Yikes! Get some sleep sister!), I heard a gentle whisper in my heart…
Go look in your closet.
Often I dismissed those kinds of heart-whispers. Not because I didn’t believe God spoke to and led other really spiritual people, but because I didn’t truly believe He would care to do that for me!
I got out of bed. Went into my closet and just stood in front of my clothes. Then I saw it.
A jacket, kind of retro, that matched Rivers’s picture. And a cream colored scarf that would tuck inside and complete her Amelia transformation.
You may wonder, Well didn’t you bother to look in your own closet before then?!
I don’t know. I don’t think so but if I had I didn’t see the jacket. I was operating in a fog of sorts.
But God knew. He knew that jacket was hanging in my closet. He knew how well it matched the picture Rivers had chosen.
Creator wanted to love me in my details.
And so I knew Him better in my details.
Peter could have walked barefoot and survived the night without a coat. Certainly he would have still been stunned and grateful to be free!
But isn’t it incredibly meaningful that God reminded him to get his shoes? His coat?
Do you believe God cares about you this way? Do you believe He wants to love you in your details?
Or do you think, Sure God tells people to go look in their closet and to get their shoes. Other people.
Smile…You are other people. His people.
May I encourage you to listen in your details? Believe He’s speaking in them? I really think God likes to show up in unexpected, closet-like, ways.
And it makes life with Jesus all the more sweet.