Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Life of Peter

The Apostle Peter’s life has always fascinated me. Maybe it’s because I can relate to the whole “foot in the mouth” moment a little too much. The thing that strikes me most in Peter’s life is how broken he was in the moment following his denial. I can’t imagine the sorrow he felt after repeated denials. Wait. Yes, I can. Maybe I am drawn to Peter’s story because it is my story too. I have not seen the actual face of the Savior look over at me in the moments of my denial, but he was there. And I felt his presence.

I would imagine that Peter never got over that moment. It was a defining moment for him. It changed him. Maybe he knew what happened to Judas and knew that Judas’ remorse led to death. But Peter had another way. One of the most comforting passages to me is when Jesus says to Peter in Luke 22:31-32, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

The only difference between Judas and Peter is Jesus, and only Jesus. The only difference between any person who denies Christ and me is Jesus. God can take a brash, impulsive, cowardice man and turn his tongue and will for good. And he did.

I’m sure Peter never forgot that night around the fire. He was always mindful of his sin—but he was always mindful of his Savior, too. He knew it was Jesus keeping him that dark and sorrowful night, and he knew that Jesus was keeping him until the end. When Jesus makes a promise, he keeps it. This is reason to be thankful.

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