Midday Mercies

“Cornelius, a centurion of… the Italian Cohort, [was] a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God. About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come and say, ‘Cornelius.’ He stared at him in terror and said, ‘What is it, Lord?’ And he said, ‘Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God. Now send men to Joppa and bring Peter…’

“The next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray.  He became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance and saw the heavens opened…

“While Peter was inwardly perplexed as to what the vision might mean, the men sent by Cornelius… stood at the gate and called out to ask whether Peter was there… The Spirit said to [Peter], ‘Behold, three men are looking for you. Rise and go down without hesitation, for I have sent them.’ Peter went down to the men and said, ‘I am the one you are looking for. What is the reason for your coming?’ And they said, ‘Cornelius,.. an upright and God-fearing man, who is well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, was directed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and to hear what you have to say…’

“So Peter… said: ‘Truly I understand that God shows no partiality… To [Jesus] all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.’ While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word.” Acts 10:1-5,9-11a,17,19-22,34,43-44

Cornelius prayed continuously, and received God’s vision in the middle of the afternoon. The next day Peter paused whatever he was doing to go up to the housetop at noon to pray- hungry for a meal but hungrier for communion with his Lord- and received a life- altering message. God in His providence ordered specific moments to unfold His heavenly plan to those who connected from below, revealing Himself as clearly as the midday sun shone. In the course of hours, He transformed prejudicial thinking, ministry direction, and lives unto salvation. (Acts 10:45-11:18)

Imagine what mercies and miracles the Lord has for the middle of our routine activities, if only we would pause to tune in. He sovereignly, intricately involves Himself in our days to perform His plans, and beckons us to listen, watch, and enter His work. Unless we cease from our horizontal frenzy, we might miss His vertical intervention.

Do we relegate God to a small slice of our calendar and neglect Him otherwise, too busy or distracted to include Him? Would we take time to to stop in the heart of our day, our work and play, to give Him and His word our full attention?

Potentate of time, please keep me honed in on You throughout my days, looking for and participating in Your gracious generosity and mighty deeds. Help me serve Your purposes in my days and generation. Attune my ears to listen, my eyes to see, and my heart to join Your kingdom call, to the furthering of Your will and praise of Your name. (Acts 13:36)

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