There was a man named Peter. He had a wife and a mother in law. He made his living fishing with his brother.
One day God came into his life and said, Follow Me. And Peter did.
He walked beside Jesus.
They walked all over Israel. And some scenes from their journey have been written down.
Peter was a man of enthusiasm, impulse, passion and ideas. But a lot of his ideas were way off track. Peter didn’t realize that. He thought they were great ideas.
Peter was the kind of guy who jumped in (0r out as the case may be) without thinking a lot first.
So as he walked with Jesus he had some good days and some bad days.
I read about Peter’s life and I see a transformation. Peter grew in his understanding of God and he became more and more faithful to serving God.
Like Peter, God has also told me to follow him.
But here’s the thing. I thought when I followed him that I would pick up where Peter left off. As though knowing Peter’s story somehow imbued me with all the wisdom from the mistakes he made and the lessons he learned.
I thought that was why those stories were recorded. Peter once got out of a boat and walked on water, for a short distance. When he took his eyes off Jesus he sank. Jesus picked him up and asked him why he didn’t trust him.
I always thought I was supposed to read that and when my turn came I would get out of a boat and dance along, knowing I could trust Jesus.
It hasn’t worked out that way.
More and more it seems that the stories of Peter’s life are there to show me what my life may look like.
Apparently I have to undergo my own transformation.
Instead of picking up where Peter left off, I am living my own life, making my own blunders, sinking in my own lack of trust. I am sometimes impulsive, ready to run on ahead, eager to build some tents for God, prepared to tell Jesus how it’s gonna go, and then usually I fail miserably along the way.
But this is what I see.
I see Jesus loving Peter. No matter what.
No matter that he couldn’t trust Jesus enough to have fun on the water.
No matter that he said some stupid things on a mountain about building tents, like he knew what was needed.
No matter that he told Jesus his plan was bad and Peter wasn’t gonna let it happen.
All of that, and Jesus still loved him. And Peter walked alongside him.
So this is what I take away from Peter’s life. He and I are a lot alike- in the worst of ways. Knowing about Peter’s walk doesn’t mean I get to skip all my own embarrassing blunders. It doesn’t mean I won’t make similar mistakes during my own painful transformation. But, Jesus is going to love me through it all.
So walk, just walk.
Sobering perspective but I gotta love the underlying grace in how God handles me/us. So often I’m thinking THIS will be the blunder that sends God away for good, that renders me totally ineligible. (Which, by the way, I am…exactly the point!) God’s grace is just so unbelievably radical. Like you said, transformation, not understanding (picking up where Peter left off). We never “get it.” Rather, it becomes us. Weird. Upside-down.
That’s it Glenn. It is not about understanding but about the work God does in us to transform us. You summed it up exactly. Thank you!