How much of our life and energy is spent trying to prevent something “bad” from happening? God showed me something today that I want to share with you.
In Luke 22:31-32, Jesus has a pointed conversation with Simon Peter. Just off the heels of the institution of the Lord’s Supper and the argument among the apostles as to who will be regarded as the greatest when the Kingdom comes (Gosh, sounds a lot like conversations at my house!), Jesus focuses his attention on Peter.
I imagine he speaks this with a mixture of sadness for what He knows Peter will face combined with the hope of knowing the end from the beginning…
Peter, you need to know that Satan demanded to have you. He wants to sift you like wheat (to break you down)…but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again (because you will) use what you have learned to strengthen your brothers.
In this paraphrase I find so much hope. Jesus doesn’t “hope” Peter will turn…He knows Peter WILL turn.
As a recovering legalist, I battle the urge to prevent the unpleasant and unwanted both in myself and in the lives of those I love. Don’t do that…”this” could happen. Are you thinking this through? Do you not realize where that could lead? You could get hurt, you could SIN, you could FAIL.
Most of the time my attempts are futile because I, and those I love, possess a determined flesh that pushes us away, not towards, godliness. Bad things happen. Sometimes to us, sometimes because of us. We all have that nightmare scenario we try to prevent happening to our loved ones, yet what do we do when that nightmare becomes a reality?
When those we love walk through fire and we see it coming mile away, unable to stop it?
Jesus knows. This is the blessing and the bane of being the Son of God. He knew where Peter was headed. He knew the betrayal lurking in Peter’s heart even before Peter was aware. He knew the shame that would result, the running away and the grief as all the world sunk into chaos when darkness fell and the veil was torn in two.
“But I have prayed for you…”
There is such power and hope in those words. Jesus knew what Peter would do, and He also knew who Peter would become as a result.
He saw the tumble and the turning. Jesus knew failure would, in the long run, created fertile soil for a faith that would change the world!
You and I, we can’t see the end from the beginning like Jesus. But we can pray. We can believe. We can trust that God uses failures and that the story of our lives is going to be one of victory over the darkness.
If we let it.
Peter failed. He betrayed his Savior. He saw the knowing, pain-filled eyes of Jesus fixed on him as the rooster crowed, and he also saw the risen Christ! He was anointed with Holy Fire and spoke of the fulfillment of the centuries-old prophecies of the Messiah. As a result, in his first day of Holy-Spirit filled ministry Peter, the betrayer, led more than three thousand souls to Christ. His denial became bold, unstoppable declaration and he moved forward in God’s power because he knew he could do nothing in his own.
Failure bred faith. Weakness was transformed into incredible strength. And Jesus knew, all along, that this would happen.
Had He stopped Peter from denying him, sheltered him in a room away from the pressures and temptations, Peter might have never fully tapped in to the strength of God.
This gives me hope for when I fail. It brings peace when I am tempted to worry about my children. It gives direction to my prayers.
It sets me free.
Be blessed today, mamas. The Lord is at work even in your failures. God looks upon your child with eyes of love and purpose even when they rebel. He knows the end from the beginning and we can trust Him!
May we parent out of a place of peace while loving out of a posture of grace so that the work of God in our lives and families can charge forward, unhindered!
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