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Friday, July 10, 2015

My Name Is Peter!

When I am reading the Bible, I often like to just focus on some of the great men and women in the Books found there. They are such a collection of personalities, attitudes, and talents. Since I love animals, I would love to get Noah's take on all those animals. I wonder if he loved animals? By the time he got to dry land, maybe not so much. I imagine what life in the palace was like for Queen Esther. We know she lived in scary times, but she stayed strong, and trusted God.

Then there is Jonah. I really can't imagine living in a fish belly for even a few minutes, let alone three days. I can understand his rebellion, and learning from it. How often does God have to be extreme to get my attention. I think I would have been in awe of Isaiah. He had the job of trying to get Israel to stay focused on God. I get them, it is hard to keep focused when the world is pulling you. Can you imagine how frustrated Isaiah must have gotten. Just when God got them refocused and turned back to Him, they blew it again.

I would love to sit and listen to David. He was musical and poetic, and he speaks to that part of me. He was one of God's people who really blew it many times, then repented in anguish. I know that feeling. I like to think about these memorable saints because they were human, like me. They loved God, they followed Him, and yet they fell down so many times. Moses was a murderer. He lacked self esteem. He didn't believe he could do what God was asking. I have done that.

Each of these people played an important part in God's plan from the beginning. He looked past their faults, and brought them to where He could use them for His Kingdom!  God knew who they were, He forgave them and He planted them on the right path when they got sidetracked. He has done that for me over and over!

There is one man that stands out in my thoughts, one I have felt drawn to for years. That is the man, Peter. He was a fisherman. He was quick tempered, he put his foot in his mouth, often, and he was impulsive. Those traits have endeared Peter to me, because I am so like him. I have said and done things without thinking, and then have to back track to set things right. 

Peter had an intimate, relationship with Jesus for over three years, spent everyday with Him, ministered with Him, and he still messed up. Peter truly wanted to be all Jesus wanted him to be, but he was human. Like Peter, if I take my eyes off Jesus, I fail.  Yet Jesus was close with Peter, calling him the Rock. Jesus understood Peter. He saw Peter's faults, but He also knew his worth, and He knew Peter's heart.

For as rough and tough as Peter was, he was also afraid. He was unsure of himself, and because of it, he denied Jesus the night Judas betrayed Him. I understand Peter's fear. He was supposed to be the strong one, Jesus right hand man, and yet, Peter feared for his life because of his association with Jesus. Peter was devastated by what he had done. He was allowed to feel Jesus' sadness at what he had done, and he cried! 

Several years ago, Jesus led me to a similar circumstance. I was not wanting to do what I knew was right. Jesus had been teaching me, and I didn't want to obey. God allowed me to feel, and see, and experience the sadness Jesus feels when I want my way, not His. I cried for a long time that day, totally broken, and broken hearted! It was a lesson that is always with me. Yes, Peter, you and I could have a long talk. You were forgiven, you were entrusted to feed Jesus' sheep!  I am forgiven, and am still learning.  Yes, Heaven will be a time of truly getting to know all these people of God, especially Peter.