What’s on your list? You know you have one… We all do!
It’s full of things that were easy to say, “I’ll never do that,” about – until we got into the same situation!!
I will never:
- speak to my husband disrespectfully
- holler at my kiddos
- hit the drive through because I am too tired to even care about a healthy dinner
- skip bible study
- miss a work out
- eat junk
- feed my kid, pet, or loved ones junk
- pretend I didn’t hear the phone or Ignore a text message
- be distracted by my smart phone when I am with my hubbie, kids, family, friends
- turn my back on a friend
- let my teenagers get a rise our of me so I lose my patience and say something I regret
- give in to keep the peace
- have a kid who bites
- let me kids do____!
- doubt God’s goodness
- think this, do that, ___, etc! (just fill in the blank)
Is your “I’ll never” list like mine, filled with red sharpie X’s and “Oh well, blew that one!” -crossing off each one as I failed to keep my lofty (and unrealistic) goals!??
Plans and promises are easier to make and insist we will keep-when the going is smooth – before the rough seas of life and relationships threaten to drown us.
I think most of these promised and plans we make are done with the best of intentions. Like Peter we really believe we won’t do that! And then we do… often more than once…
Humiliated, disappointed in ourselves and feeling foolish for ever promising to live with super human strength. Acutely aware of how easily we made vows to never do what we see other wives and moms do- Before we were married or had kids!
Then real life hits! We struggle… and suddenly the easiest, most peaceful, least exhausting way is it! Just get through becomes the song of the day!
Can you relate?
Oh how many times, I have heard the cock crow signaling that oops, I did it again. Empty and broken promises echo in my ears as my pride and arrogance shatter.
Humbled, I realize that I am just like Peter… making lofty vows and sweeping statements that sound reasonable even noble in the light of day… only to quiver and compromise -faltering, hollering, avoiding and taking the quickest path to relief – when reality hits!
What I love about this passage (Mark 14: 26-72) is Jesus’ response. Gently, He tells it like it is- Yes, we actually will do the very things we say we will never do.. no matter what, pinky promise!! And, if we are really honest, we will probably do it more than once!
Jesus knows this and yet He doesn’t turn away from Peter, end their friendship, or even make him pay for the hurt Jesus knows is coming. Jesus isn’t aloof, doesn’t withdraw from His dear, but misguided friend.
Nope, Jesus invites Peter to the most intimate of places, the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus knows Peter’s heart… and his foolish arrogance and asks Peter to come with Him, to watch and pray with and for Him- as Jesus wages the greatest battle ever fought.
If I know someone is going to throw me under the bus – I am not going to hang out with them, let alone invite them into my most vulnerable moments. I have a closet full of protective gear and avoidance strategies to keep from being hurt.
But what about when I am Peter? Jesus stays faithful, loving, engaged… vulnerable.
Jesus looks into our “I’ll never do that’s” and says, “You will, and it is okay… forgiveness is yours…Our relationships remains in tact, because I love you – unconditionally, completely – no matter what!”
I wonder if this is the whole point of the story. Peter not only denied knowing Jesus, but he denied being part of Jesus’ inner circle – that is seriously bad!
Talk about “Oops I did it again!”
Jesus doesn’t change His heart or His mind about Peter… Jesus won’t ever change His mind or heart about you… not matter what you do, don’t do, or how many times you blow it. (or me either!!) Isn’t that great news?!
Living boldly and all in like Peter did, means we will probably not only say, “I’ll nevers!” but mess up and do them too! There is risk of living full out! But, we are living and growing and trying and becoming and I think it’s worth the risk of blowing it!
We can rest in God’s love and faithfulness as we continue to grow, without worry or fear of our imperfections, mistakes, unrealistic “I’ll nevers!” or our sin. We are loved, forgiven, redeemed and God is growing us everyday.
How does knowing Jesus’ response to Peter impact you? Are you ever afraid to go all in because you might blow it and are fearful God will love you less?
(It won’t… God can’t love you more or less than right this minute! You are His!)