I was reading the story of Peter’s trance in the book of Acts and something struck me. Here’s the story:
Peter went up on the flat roof to pray. It was about noon, 10 and he was hungry. But while a meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw the sky open, and something like a large sheet was let down by its four corners. 12 In the sheet were all sorts of animals, reptiles, and birds. 13 Then a voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat them.” 14 “No, Lord,” Peter declared. “I have never eaten anything that our Jewish laws have declared impure and unclean.[b]” 15 But the voice spoke again: “Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.” 16 The same vision was repeated three times. Then the sheet was suddenly pulled up to heaven.
There are so many things to draw from this, but what spoke to me was verse 16: “The same vision was repeated three times.” It made me think about why God would need to repeat the same vision three times:
- God was giving Peter a paradign shift, something very foreign to his tradition and way of thinking
- Peter was not used this method of communication so God made sure that he couldn’t rationalize it away
- Peter was a strong and bold guy, possibly even stubborn. God knew it would have to be bold and even offensive…”Get up, Peter; kill and eat them” saying it over and over, to shock a change in his thinking
I guess as I look at those reasons I think of myself. How many times does God need to tell me something before I do it…lots, unfortunately. It seems I go through spurts where I will listen and immediately do it. However, most of the time, I need several different signs, especially right now in my life. I seem to be more resistant than ever to some things. It could be that I’m somewhat tired and a little weary. When I read this though, it makes me want to be more open and ready to follow when Jesus speaks.
How many times does it take for you? hmmm.