“…and Peter” (part 1)

andPeter

As I watched him run as quickly as he could, slinging his little arms and kicking the new soccer ball with all his might, he proclaimed, “no one can beat me in soccer!” He had recently asked, “Don’t you wish you could be as good as me at soccer??”

Such confidence. If only we all were as talented. 😉

Of course, he’s 4. He’s just learning that some people win and some people lose. He, of course, always wins (even if that means making up new rules.. 🙂 ).

We all know that one person who is overly confident. The person who claims to know everything, to be brave, or to be loyal “no matter what.” Some people are really these things. But as I have learned from myself and others, most people aren’t as honest/brave/loyal as they WANT to be.

That’s why I like Peter. He was one of these people, but he did GREAT things for God.

He’s the guy who claimed to NEVER leave Jesus’ side. He cut off a soldier’s ear in fear/an effort to protect Jesus. Peter had faith – he proclaimed that Jesus was the Son of God. He had enough faith to walk on water toward Jesus, but second-guessed himself and dropped into the waves. When Jesus said his friends were those who would let Him wash their feet, Peter blurted out “wash my feet, head, AND hands.” Peter is also the guy who, in the face of fear, denied that he even knew Christ – not once, but three separate times.

Peter is like us. He’s real. He blurts out things before thinking them through. He second-guesses himself. He’s loyal to his loved ones. He seems eager to please, but almost too eager at times. He let fear win.

Yet, God used him to do BIG work in spreading the Gospel. God knew Peter’s personality, his tendancy to blurt, to question himself, to prove his devotion. God also knew that Peter would deny Christ. But God chose to use him anyway.

I think that we oftentimes think that God only uses those people who are walking perfectly upright – those who never give in to fear, those who wake in the wee hours of the morning to study and pray, those who speak Jesus to everyone they meet. But looking at Peter’s story, that’s not at all true. God uses those who are eager to be used. Those who are willing to proclaim that Jesus is the Son of God. Those who want to do something for Him.

Just as God knew that Peter would mess up, He knows that we will mess up. But I think that that’s exactly part of His plan. Because, as we’ll see in the next part of this post, it’s in our mess that we look for and find grace. It’s in our mess that we realize that we will never be as honest/brave/loyal as we want to be. God already knew that. So, He reaches down into our mess and lifts us out. He cleans us up and asks us to take another step toward Him.

My Father, thank you for choosing me even though You know I’ll mess up. Thank you for reaching down into my messes and pulling me out, time and time again. Thank you for a fresh start each and every time I repent. Lord, you want me to follow You. You give me everything I need to do that. I only need to take one step at a time. Praise You for Your unending grace and undeserved mercy!

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