Words I Never Thought I'd Utter

Last night, I came to a startling realization.  Jason and I were having our nightly devotions, and our reading involved Peter, the disciple.  As we discussed Peter's many faults and failures, we also commented how the author of the book we're reading did something few others do--he commented on Peter's good attributes.  After all, Peter dropped everything when Jesus said, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."  Peter rowed his boat out into the deep at Jesus' command even though he (Peter) and the other fishermen had been out fishing all night and had come back empty-handed.  Peter was the only disciple with enough faith to step out of the boat and walk on the water.  We're so quick to judge poor Peter, but he truly had some good qualities about him.

As Jason and I discussed this topic, the realization hit me, and it was just too startling to keep to myself.  "I'm Peter!" I exclaimed.  Jason stopped and looked at me.  I went on to explain.  "Peter's problem was not a lack of devotion.  It wasn't a lack of love.  It wasn't even a lack of faith.  Peter's problem was simply that he tried too hard.  He wanted to serve the Lord so badly that he did anything and everything he could think of to fulfill that service.  Unfortunately, some of those things were not the right things or were the right things done in the wrong way.  Peter was so eager to serve that he didn't stop and ask the Lord how He wanted to be served.  Instead, he tried to do it in his own way, which often led to trouble.  That's me!"

Sadly, it's true.  If you were to study my faults and failures, you'd quickly see the pattern.  My mistakes don't stem from a lack of love or faithfulness, but rather a lack of submission and surrender.  I try too hard to serve the Lord, and that "trying" often leads to following my own plans and ideas of how things should be. . . just like Peter.

Do you want to hear the good news?  The Peter before the Resurrection of Christ and the Peter after the Resurrection are like two separate characters.  The Peter after the Resurrection is still bold, but it's a different boldness.  He's not bold in himself but rather in the gospel he is preaching.  This Peter has learned to listen more than he speaks and to think before he acts.  This Peter is completely surrendered to the will of God.  This Peter has made a major transformation from what he had been before.  So, if God could change Peter, I know He can change me too.  There's hope for me yet.  And, if you find yourself resembling the old Peter as well, there's hope for you too.  It all boils down to surrender!