Peter was sleeping between two soldiers. Acts 12:6
Peter was in prison. The odds of his release were zero. He was chained between two guards, with additional security watching the only escape route. It was a desperate, impossible time. Peter's friend James had been killed, and it looked like Peter would be next.
How did Peter respond to this "winter storm"? He slept. It was the night before his trial, and he slept. John Chrysostom, an early church father, noted that when Paul was imprisoned, he sang hymns (Acts 16), but when Peter was imprisoned, he slept! What was going on here? John Calvin calls this "repose." In a world full of trouble, we lean on God. In times of chaos, turmoil, and winter, we repose.
Before his death, Jesus told his followers, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you" (John 14:27). He didn't guarantee personal comfort, safety, ease, or rescue. But he did promise the deep peace of the Holy Spirit.
It may be summer outside where you live, but it may feel like winter in your heart. Maybe you've been betrayed, slandered, or diagnosed with a terrible disease. The Bible offers a variety of responses. You can cry a psalm of lament. You can lean on friends. And you can find repose in the One who has suffered for you. When God calls us to be witnesses, he doesn't call us to ease. He calls us to follow and promises to be with us.
Father, thank you for walking with us in all the seasons of our lives. Help us to trust, follow, and serve you, even in times that feel like winter. In Jesus' name, Amen.
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