When we’re just not up to it

My heart breaks when I read the verses from Luke 22: 54-62 but I get it.  I’ve been there.  I’ve been at that fork in the road that critical juncture where you either do or don’t.  As Yoda said, “Do or not do, there is no try”.  Unfortunately, too often, we don’t.  No wonder Peter wept.

Here was his friend, his mentor, the one who asked him, a fisherman, to come with him to follow and be a part of the most extraordinary thing that ever happened here on earth and he blew it.  He wimped out.  He denied he knew Jesus to three different people in short order before the rooster crowed.  And this was so not a part of Peter’s character.  In fact, just the opposite.

It was Peter after all who lopped off the ear of the high priest’s servant when they came to arrest Jesus.  Peter would eventually be the one who Jesus called the rock.  But in this instance, in these moments, he was anything but steady.  He failed.  He was not a fighter.  I can only imagine the anguish and guilt he must have felt looking into the eyes of his Lord but again, I’ve been there.

I’ve been there when I wouldn’t raise my voice to stand up to the crowd and it wasn’t even life or death (which it very well could have been for him).  I’ve been there when someone who believed in me, who chose me, who mentored me; saw that I wasn’t up to the task.  It hurts.  It hurts being that weak.  It hurts being that helpless but it’s at that precise moment where we are saved.

Peter would take his shame, his guilt, his failure and his anguish and turn it into the leadership needed after Jesus was gone.  Truly his weakness made him strong.  His failure drove him, I’m sure, to tell everyone and lead the other disciples into the face of something that would end some of their lives and land others in prison.  It would not be easy but the way he came through after such an epic fail should give all of us hope.  No matter where we’ve been, what we’ve done or who we’ve disappointed our Savior is ready and willing to use us for his purpose.  So don’t cry.  Buck up buttercup.  There’s work to be done.  And you are up to the task.

It’s counterintuitive to think we’re at our strongest when we’re at our weakest but if we reach out to our Father, we really are.  I imagine you can remember a time when things were so hard you didn’t think you could get through them, and yet you did.  Ever wonder how?  I have an idea.

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