Have you ever told someone something and he or she didn’t believe you? No matter how much you try to convince that person he or she just isn’t buying what you are saying. How did it make you feel? Hurt? Angry? Frustrated?
When the apostle Peter was arrested and thrown into prison, fellow Christians got together and held a prayer meeting. While Peter was sleeping, an angel of the Lord went to the cell where he was shackled between two sleeping guards, woke the disciple and led him out of the prison. After Peter realized that this was not a dream or a vision, he went to the house where the believers were gathered.
He knocked on the gate and a girl named Rhoda answered. In her excitement at seeing Peter, she ran back to tell the others instead of opening the gate and letting him in. However, her good news was met with doubt. “You are beside yourself!” And when she insisted, they told her that it was Peter’s angel. Short of grabbing them and taking them outside to show them, there was nothing Rhoda could do to convince them. Fortunately for her, Peter continued to knock and this time they heard him and opened the door. They were astonished to see him.
Why were they astonished to see him? Why did they doubt Rhoda? Weren’t they praying for Peter? Didn’t they expect God to answer their prayers? Have you ever prayed for something and when God answered the prayer, you couldn’t believe it? This reminds me of when Jesus had appear to His disciples the first time after His resurrection and even though they saw Him and He spoke to them, they still didn’t believe. They thought He was a Spirit and were terrified. And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts?” (Luke 24:38). And when the women went to tell the disciples that the tomb was empty and what the angels had told them, they didn’t believe them. According to Luke, “their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them” (Luke 24:11).
It doesn’t feel good when you tell the truth and people don’t believe you. If you were Rhoda what would you have done? Would you have admonished the others for not believing you? Or would you just let it go? I think if I were Rhoda, I would have encouraged the others to join me in prayer and we thank and praise God for coming through for Peter. This was a time to rejoice and give thanks, not contend with your brethren.