John 21:21-22 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” 22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”
Peter, Peter, Peter… boy he sure modeled what it is to be scolded by the Lord often ha ha. How grateful I am that we get to know him so well, for I too suffer from foot-in-mouth disease and misdirected heart syndrome on a regular basis.
So as I was reading this passage (vs 15-25) I was more focused on how Jesus was restoring Peter’s heart. Peter had taken himself out of the bigger narrative due to shame and feeling unworthy.
It’s a good message for those who know they have been called but yet so often feel like they come up short time and time again (like me). When Jesus named Peter “The Rock” He did it full well of knowing where he would glorify God and where he would serve himself through fear, pride, ignorance, anger or apathy. Peter’s behavior never put Peter’s calling in jeopardy, he simply needed to be redirected and restored by a loving and grace-filled Savior.
So funny how quickly we can fall back into our old patterns so soon after being restored!
Just a few verses earlier “Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” and immediately after that he’s now questioning Jesus John’s fate.
How easy is it to get so wrapped up in our ministry, family or workplace that we find ourselves preoccupied with how to help “them” get better” or “do” better. But how much did I need to hit my own proverbial wall at 1000 mph before I surrendered and cried to to Jesus?
Sometimes our best intentions can be the very thing delaying someone else’s relationship with Christ. It usually takes the hidden agenda of co-dependency. Sure we mean well, but…
I have been struggling lately with CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) which is basically unexplained daytime tiredness, weakness and a general nagging exhaustion. During a week’s vacation that I’m taking to recenter and refocus on the only One that matters it doesn’t surprise me that He used His word to expose my heart.
And I’ve felt Him asking…
“You have given me your son a hundred times George, when will you believe I’ve got him”
“You pray for men and women in Recovery Groups, when are you going to trust that I’m guiding them just as I am you”
“You pray for the homeless, the sick, the lost, the broken, the leaders… when are you going to actually believe that the great I AM is on the throne”
I don’t think He is suggesting I stop praying for people and their situations however I do believe He is revealing the way I pray without belief.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see
Gee, if I ever wondered why I run around stressed out all the time I’d say this is a good starting point.
My takeaway is to become more intentional in recognizing that when I’m ruminating on a problem or situation that I need to question my perspectives and motivations.
Am I focusing on how best to offload the stuff I can’t do onto Him?
Am I looking for the things that I can do under His power?
Or am I trying to change someone else’s experiences and behaviors so I don’t have to worry about them. Or is there something else that I desire out of changing THEIR situation?
But if we’ve prayed for them, or even better WITH them, then what business is it of ours to continue worrying about the manner in which God is guiding them.
We simply participate, Jesus is the one who rescues.
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.
Father God, we need your help this day and every day. I say I believe then act as if I don’t. I say I trust then go back to manipulating people or circumstances way outside of my control based on my own understandings of what I think is best. Forgive me Lord, and remind me what true humility, faith, wisdom, courage and surrender are supposed to look like. I can’t know if my life pleases You but I pray that my desire to please You, pleases You. May we all live simply for Your glory, in Jesus precious name we pray…
[In chapter 7 of John Eldredge’s book Waking the Dead he poses the question “Does trust come easily for you? Are you at peace, full of a deep confidence in God? This blog entry is where I was led after pondering those questions.]