While I was on FaceTime with my oldest daughter one morning this week, the FedEx man dropped a package on my porch, gave me a friendly wave, and hurried back to his truck through the pouring rain. When I bent over to pick up the package, I immediately noticed that it was not addressed to me. Hesitating only a split second, I sprinted down the driveway, barefoot, phone still in hand (to my daughter’s astonishment), through the torrential downpour, to catch the FedEx man so that he could properly deliver that package…to a house just around the circle.
It was not until I was standing back in my doorway, dripping, waiting for my youngest daughter to bring me a towel so that I could dry off and not track water all over the carpet, that the irony of the situation hit me. I’ve been praying for more opportunities to interact with my neighbors; yet, I had just completely soaked myself and risked ruining my phone just to get that package back to the deliveryman so that I wouldn’t have to deal with stopping by my neighbor’s house later!
And then my mind clicked back to the scripture I had studied that morning as I prepared for an upcoming AWANA lesson. The passage was Acts 12, where Herod put James to death by sword and then imprisoned Peter, who likely faced the same fate as James. However, God intervened and broke Peter out of jail, delivering him safely to his church friends, who had been in “…earnest prayer for him…(Acts 12:5).” But as Peter knocked, his friends wouldn’t let him in the house! The servant girl was so excited to hear Peter’s voice that she left him standing outside while she ran to tell the others that Peter was at the door. The others, not believing it was really Peter, actually told poor Rhoda that she was out of her mind! Eventually, as Peter kept knocking, they did open the door, and “they saw him and were amazed (Acts 12:16).” Although they had been praying intensely for him during his imprisonment, they were clearly not expecting God’s miraculous intervention. Similarly, although I have been praying for chances to get to know my neighbors better, I completely missed the opportunity when it was literally dropped on my doorstep, even going out of my way to avoid it!
Thank you, Lord, for once again speaking so clearly to me through your Word. And thank you for your promise that when I ask anything according to your will, you hear me and will answer (1 John 5:14-15). Help me to pray with expectation and recognize your answers when they are dropped in front of me!
In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:3