Thursday, April 17, 2008

Whatever Happened to Rhoda?

Okay, if you are a Gen X'er, you are probably thinking Rhoda? You mean Mary Tyler Moore's sidekick? Nope, not that one.

I'm thinking about the servant girl in Acts 12 Rhoda. The one who was at Mary's house, "mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying."

I'm not well versed on the role of the servant so I'm not sure if she was praying as well, but she was certainly aware of what was going on. Peter escaped from prison in the most miraculous way, an angel set him free. It was so supernatural and carefree (to the angel at least) that until the angel disappeared, Peter couldn't quite believe it was an angel. He thought it was a vision.

So there is everyone at that house praying for Peter's release. Were they specific to the point of saying 'please send an angel to set him free?' I'm guessing not, but I've been there. You pray and pray and pray some more and when it comes to pass in an amazing way, you can't even fathom it.

This is Rhoda's story. I'm guessing as a servant one of her job's was to answer the door. Peter knocks and announces his arrival. Rhoda is "overjoyed'. So much so, she doesn't even open the door. She runs back to tell everyone else, leaving Peter on the other side of a shut door. Can you just picture it? I just can't see her tapping John Mark on the shoulder and quietly saying, "Hey, um, the door? It's Peter." I see her jumping, screaming, hollering, and whooping it up. A true praise celebration.

Then the housefull of people tell Rhoda she's out of her mind. Still, she isn't giving up. She is so insistent finally they say well it must be his angel. Rhoda wasn't the only persistent one, Peter kept on knocking. Finally "they" opened the door and saw it was Peter. And "they" were astonished.

Boy can I relate. I was an infertility patient that knew in my heart God had children in His plan for us. For our son we prayed Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of His heart." For our daughter we believed God had a promise for us in 1 Samuel 1:27, "For this child we prayed, and He answered our prayer." The funny thing is, when signs of pregnancy came knocking, I wasn't as much like Rhoda as I was the people in the house.

I was violently ill the first time around and thought I had the flu. When it dawned on me this just might be a pregnancy, one test didn't suffice. Even though the test was positive, I had to take another. When it was my pregnancy with my daughter, I didn't even take two tests, I took three. Talk about needing persistent knocking to convince me.

Is that you? Have you prayed and prayed on something and it finally comes to pass and you can't even believe it when it's right at your house? Do you have a Rhoda in your life so overjoyed that you dismiss her? I just came across this story this week and this time around, Rhoda got my attention.

My question---what happened to her? The rest of Peter's story in Acts 12 says that Peter motioned for them to be quiet so he could share how the Lord brought him out of prison. Was Rhoda on the dusty floor, listening intently, praising the Lord? Did she hightail it out of the house Paul Revere style to tell the countryside Peter was free and by an angel no less? Was she pouring some celebratory wine for everyone? Making Peter a splendid post prison meal?

Whatever it was, I bet she was praising Jesus.

Even if in her excitement she neglected to open the door.

Julie Arduini is a surrendered writer with her own blog, A graduate of the Christian Writers Guild, she blogs for the Christian Writers Forum Sundays as the mommy blogger and is the Forum's book club facilitator.

She is active with FaithWriters and has several writings ready to publish in different books and anthologies in 2008-09. To get to know her better, read her interview by Lynda Schab at:

To contact Julie, please use the e mail provided in our profile.

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