So--- before we get started I guess I ought to let you know this is probably going to be a ramble. Just some thoughts and things I have been reading.
I have for a long time now identified with our friend Peter from the Bible. I am one of those who enjoy big plans and love to get things up and going. Get people moving. I think it was probably the same way with Peter.
He has fascinated me. His ability to make such a complete fool of himself (in his own eyes) and yet God pulled him out in the end and he became a great pillar of the church.
I was thinking about what was going on in his mind that evening when he became aware that it was Jesus out on the water. Did he look around in the boat and wonder what others were thinking? Did he figure that maybe they expected him to do something first? And then, did he think about what Jesus was expecting? You know the whole idea that God is looking for a few good men.
Maybe was there a little pride that he was willing to take the risk while the others were still cowering in the boat?
Lots of questions going on in my mind and I am sure his at the time.
I wonder once he got out of the boat if the excitement carried him? Carried Him to Jesus until the thoughts of what the others were thinking caught up with him.
Do they see me? Do they wish they were me? Will they think I am a better believer because I was willing to take a risk and get out of the boat? I imagine that his mind was racing. Racing so fast that the one who stood before him soon disappeared into the fog and his thoughts sunk him.
Here is where I start to cringe for him. How embarrassing. Poor Peter. And it is even worse because he was a guy and you know how they are about the image thing. Back from the depths of failure he walks with Jesus to the boat and eyes down cast puts his soaking wet body back in the boat.
I am sure for awhile he was very quiet and not his normal outspoken self. I am sure he pondered the past events and thought he had learned that lesson. After all- who would want to have to go through that in front of anyone again?
Fast forward to the night before Jesus was to die and Peter although not alone- was on his own. Jesus was not in his face and there was no one behind him. It was just him and what was on the inside. God was going to use this time to make Peter face who he was and the depths to which he would sink on his own. All props removed- Peter was going to see just how far he would go without the help of the Father. And we all know he failed miserably. Three times.
All that built up facade was destroyed. All props removed.
Now I don't believe Peter was all fake. I believe he had a good heart. He wanted to please God. He wanted God to be proud of him. Kind of like the teachers pet. He wanted to know that he was special. That there was something different about him. That he would end up being one of those who did "it" right.
Don't we all want that? For someone to look at us and go ---Wow, there is no one like that.
And, in reality--there is no one like us. He planned it that way. He made us unique.
The point is----- our uniqueness came from Him. All that is special about us--came from Him.
I don't have to work it up. I don't have to work it out. He already put it there and set it up to work-- with the help of the Holy Spirit.
An awareness of this ought to bring freedom. Ought to.
Peter finally became aware that he was nothing. That what God was planning to do through him had nothing to do with something Peter was going to be responsible for working up. He could relax.
This is a lesson I have spent many years trying to understand and learn. The art of relaxing in the Holy Spirit. Surely there is something I have to do? Something I need to be busy about?
Some change I need to make? I, I, I, i.........
And then, His response to my hurried heart.
"But God...... I know......"
"But God... I should be...."