She was young, full of anticipation, and overflowing with dreams of the future. She had high energy, optimism, goals and dreams.
Rhoda was a young believer mentioned in Acts who attended a prayer meeting held at Mary’s house for the imprisoned Peter. Now in Rhoda’s day Christians feared death or imprisonment by the Romans. Perhaps it was her youthful ignorance that kept her in the house praying instead of at home where it was safe. Nonetheless, she demonstrated faith in God despite the potential danger.
Taking time to pray is difficult at any age, but especially when you’re young and full of energy! I’m sure Rhoda was trying very hard to keep out distractions and focus on praying. But she couldn’t ignore a persistent knocking at the door. Should she answer? After all, it’s a little distracting to listen to all that noise while you’re trying to pray!
Rhoda checked it out, and “…when she knew Peter’s voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate.” (12:14) I’m sorry, but I think Rhoda’s actions constitute an “LOL!” But you have to wonder, was Rhoda praying without faith or was she so overwhelmingly excited to see her prayers being answered? The next two verses say, “And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so…Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.”
Even though not much is said about Rhoda and her name is only mentioned once, her character does shine through. We can learn from the life of this teenage servant. She seemed like a typical teenage girl, so I think we can safely assume she experienced many of the same things you do – peer pressure, insecurity, dreams and unpredictable emotions.
One thing that stands out to me about her life is that she was involved. She was busy! She wasn’t sitting at home twiddling her fingers or wasting time with idle entertainment and chitchat. She was busy learning, practicing, growing. Maybe she even looked up to Mary and dreamed of being a spiritual, hospitable person like her someday. I think she might have realized that in order for her dreams to come true she had to spend time learning, growing and developing certain skills.
You’ve probably heard an older person say that memorization is a whole lot easier while you’re young! Well, it’s not just memorization but other skills and tasks take a lot less effort for a young person – physical activity, academics, musical development, and talents. Just like Rhoda, now is that time for you. But you got to be involved!
Unfortunately, there’s a great tendency for teenagers to develop IBS (“I’m Bored Syndrome”) rather than character. It takes work, dedication, and discipline to make your dream a reality. Anyone who is not actively involved in exercising the body and mind with inevitable relapse into IBS.
I like Rhoda. She was down-to-earth, a little on the blonde side, involved in serving with other believers (whether her age or much older), and had a heart to learn and grow in the Lord. She was anything but bored! Just think if she hadn’t attended that prayer meeting – Would her faith have grown? Would she have been able to see God working before her eyes? Just think of all the opportunities a teenager with IBS is missing – don’t be one of them!