Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door. When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!”
Her name is Rhoda. God’s Word has recorded Rhoda’s name and her delightful moment from the early days of the New Testament church.
Here’s the context. Jesus has risen from the dead and ascended into heaven. The Holy Spirit has empowered Jesus’ apostles to proclaim the good news of what Jesus has done. They face persecution, however. For example, King Herod has decided to arrest the apostle Peter and to put him in prison to await trial. After Herod does this, many Christians gather in a house in Jerusalem to pray for Peter.
Then, a miracle. God sends an angel. Peter’s chains fall off, and he follows the angel. He walks right past the guards and straight out of the prison. Peter is free. And so Peter proceeds to walk to the very house where those Christians are praying on his behalf.
This is where Rhoda enters the picture. She hears a knock and goes to answer. It’s Peter! In an instant, joy washes over Rhoda so completely that she runs back and announces that Peter is at the door. In her excitement, however, she’s left Peter outside, still standing, still knocking, still asking if he can come in.
They let him in, of course. But think about this. Think of all the times Rhoda must have smiled, laughed, and told the story of how she forgot to let Peter into the house because her sheer joy had gotten the best of her.
It was quite a moment for Rhoda. You and I get moments like that too. Perhaps the circumstances are not as dramatic, but God does the same for us. Just when we need it, he gives us a moment of joy, a moment to laugh and smile, a moment to savor and share with others. And this should not surprise us. After all, he is the kind of God who was willing to sacrifice his own Son to save us from our sins. And, as we travel this broken world, he gives us what we need to see us through.
Lord Jesus, thank you for the moments of joy you give me. Please, keep them coming. Amen.