“And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.”
1 Peter 5:10
Why did he write that? You see, Peter struggled. Oh did he struggle. He would sometimes speak first, and think later. But he was truly devoted to our Lord. He was the one that ventured out of the boat to try to walk on water towards Jesus, when Jesus was walking toward them on the water. Yes, Peter freaked out and started to sink. But the rest of the guys ~ they just stayed in the boat, during the storm. After the resurrection, the apostles were fishing. Jesus showed up on the shore and called to them. Peter knew it was Jesus and hopped overboard to hurry to shore to see his beloved friend. Peter rejoiced boisterously, and grieved deeply at many times. He knew failure, he knew of his many shortcomings.
I love to think of being alive back then, and sitting and talking to Jesus, of course. I also would love talking to brash, bold,and sometimes fearful Peter. He knew then and we know now, that strength and steadfastness grow over time as we try to walk closely with our Lord. As a gal who longs to persevere, and sometimes falls short, I think that Peter would “get me”, understand my struggle, and yes—laugh with me.
That laughter that we can have at our own struggles, can provide strength like a cool glass of water on a hot day, or a big fluffy blanket on a cold day. When we are overwhelmed, and sinking in the water a few feet away from Jesus, we only need to call Him, and His outstretched hand will pull us up. Remember what Jesus said to Peter when Peter freaked out and started to sink? “Why did you doubt me:?
And when we are back in the boat, or up on the beach, Peter will throw an arm around us, have a good laugh and say ~ “Great job, you tried, you wanted Him, our Master, you called ~ and you knew He would come; and He did”. If that doesn’t give me strength, what will? Jesus will say to us at times, Why did you doubt me? When we hear that question, it is a gentle (or firm reminder, that we are called to continue believing at every moment. When we fall short, we can think of Peter. When we realize that these failures can serve to spur us forward in our faith journey, we gain strength.
Remember Peter explaining to Jesus that he just HAD to follow Him? John 6:67-69? ” So Jesus said to the twelve, “you do not want to go away also, do you? Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God”. He had that right! Indeed, to whom shall we go?
Peter had an abiding faith. Knowing that, and reading his writings, gives me a wonderful reminder that Jesus doesn’t call the perfect. His grace is perfect, and He changes us. Peter’s emotions and devotion dovetail so nicely with my own journey. Peter’s actions make me run down that figurative beach to greet Jesus each day—at sunup and at night time.
Do any of the apostles’ lives tug at your heart?