About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. Acts 10:9
I love the story of Peter and Cornelius in Acts 10. The one’s calling to reject the foundation of the law on which he had lived his life thus far; and the other’s faithfulness to what he knew and understood of the Lord. Peter was confronted on that rooftop by the Lord in a vision and asked to do something that he had been taught all of his life was wrong. Peter was still sitting on the rooftop, contemplating what he has just seen and what it could mean, when the meaning of it all became suddenly clear- with a knock at the gate. Peter had to make a decision to obey the Lord and go against what he was taught in the written law or to stay where he was and ignore the vision. In an incredible meeting Peter revealed what he learned from the Lord to Cornelius. The salvation of many was the result, confirmed by the Holy Spirit. Thus, the door to Jesus was firmly and finally opened to the world in an unmistakable message to the Jewish community.
I have found myself on Peter’s rooftop more than once in my life. That place, where God speaks and I am asked to go beyond what I know – to trust Him for the next thing He will do. When he calls me out of my comfort zone to be, do, or go- I resist, question, sometimes protest, and have on more than one occasion ignored (that one is hard to admit).
It’s scary to confront and easier to retreat and disregard what He is telling me by justifying it away. Yet, once that moment has come He will not let it go until I respond to what He is asking or until my opportunity for obedience and trust has passed and the torch is given to another. He will accomplish His Will. When that happens, I am saddened to the quick that I have been disobedient. At those times the words of Mordecai to Esther echo in my brain, actually, they don’t echo- they are broadcast over the loud speaker to my heart: If you remain silent at this time relief and deliverance will arise from another place, and who knows but that you have come to this place for such a time as this? (paraphrasing). For Esther, her trust in the Lord truly was tested with her life. She chose to move outside the law to rescue her people from extinction placing herself in danger before her earthly king and husband.
When the rules seemed to change for Peter and Esther, they moved out into the unknown future; they understood the cost as they chose to trust the God they knew. They trusted God to bring them to the place where His Will would be accomplished.
Wait right there! Hold your horses! Their experiences were large and were of great importance to the Kingdom of Heaven; everyone can see that.
And so are ours.
When I am called by God to move from the familiar to a place far beyond my understanding, God is leading me to realize that it’s just as important in the situation to which I am called as it was for Peter and Esther. I am learning to listen to His voice, to grasp that what He asks of all of us always has eternal consequences at stake.
One more eternal soul living forever in His Presence.
He wants me to place my trust in Him. God calls me to a faith that has its confidence in who He is and assurance in Him when I do not see the path ahead. I know that it may not be safe; Esther’s safety was certainly at stake. I know that it may not be popular; Peter knew the uproar that would occur as the Jews realized that the Messiah was not just for their deliverance, but that God had invited the whole world to the party. If only they had listened…
And, I know there may be suffering; in fact it’s almost a guarantee, as Peter well knew:
But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. 1Peter 3:14-15a
When I pray, I am extending my trust to Him and to His Will.
Meeting Him on the rooftop may bring me to a place I’d rather not be, but I’m learning that I’d rather be obedient than straining to get away. Jesus’ suffering and sacrifice for all is the reason for the hope that I have.
Peter said it best, I think:
“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of
eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of
God.” John 6: 67-69