Thursday, September 15, 2011

peter

simon, simon, satan has asked to sift you like wheat.
~luke 22:31~

peter's story has always been a great source of comfort to me.  i often find myself feeling defeated, see myself as a failure in my weak attempts to live to glorify my Creator.  most times, when i think of how i would feel if i were in Christ's physical presence as the disciples were, of Him looking at me and i at Him, i am filled with a sense of shame for all my shortcomings, of how unworthy i am to be loved by Him. and of course i know that being worthy is not the point, that salvation is a gift we simply accept...but being human, and satan being aware of my vulnerable spots, i am very often overwhelmed by a sense of how i fail God.

now how that relates to peter.  peter very apparently loved the Lord and he was zealous in his devotion [even cut off a man's ear to prove it so], i am humbled by that kind of insatiable devotion.  at the last supper he swore that he would never be disloyal to Christ ["i am ready to go with you to prison and to death"], yet he did just as Jesus predicted: denied Him three times before the rooster's crow.

how often i feel like such a hypocrite, such a disloyal and disfigured reflection of Christ's Love.  every sin is a rejection of knowing Him, just like Peter's was.  while i'm not uttering that aloud consciously, and while i do not want nor intend to do so, i am rejecting knowing Christ by things i do, think and say which are not Godly...not aiming to bring glory to the gift He gives and sacrifice He made for us.


but Christ gives us many opportunities for healing, to regain a sense of peace after failing Him.   for peter this was the chance to redeem himself [not that this matters to God, but it matters a great deal to our human nature, to feel that we had a chance to make amends].  Christ have peter the chance to proclaim his love for Him three times, which covered up his thrice denial of knowing Him [john 21:15-18]. satan knows our weaknesses and aims to exploit them, in order to break us down.  but God knows them too and gives us the ability and opportunity to overcome them, uses them to bring grace to us and glory to Him.


i am encouraged that peter wasn't perfect, a bit hypocritical at times...had good intentions but failed [just like the rest of us] to always have his relationship with Christ be the forefront of his words, actions, and thoughts.   his story gives us all hope that Christ will be able to use us do great work in His name...for look at the legacy peter left behind, despite denying Christ so bluntly...satan may have aimed to sift peter like wheat, but God used his failings to transform him into a man that aided in growing a greater harvest in Christ's name.