It all comes down to perspective, even in Jesus’ time, it was about perspective. I have had many challenges to my faith this year, and each time I thought I found my footing, another challenge would come up.
The first challenge begged me to be humble and gracious. It led me to question my motives in prayer and opened my eyes to the areas of my life where my faith and trust lacked.
The second challenge exposed where I put my security. I found myself clinging to the approval and acceptance of others to find love and peace. Instead of resting in Gods love I was searching for it in all the wrong places.
The third challenged how I loved. If you know me I’m all in. I give all I have to you, if I deemed you safe, and my heart is yours; however, I learned even in that, my motives were self driven and not as humble as I thought.
When God challenges us He is gentle. His tests and questions are followed by answers and transformation; unfortunately, not quickly like a download, it unfolds slowly over time as we seek His face.
My perspective needed adjusted.
I am a lot like Peter, in the sense that, I am eager and ready to jump into whatever will please God. Peter was eager too. He would run laps around the others as if to say, “look what I can do for you, Lord!”
Peter was the one who jumped out on the water to walk to Jesus. It always intrigued me that no other disciple jumped out with him. But what happen when Peter took His eyes off Christ? He began to sink. (Matthew 14:29-32)
Peters faith was weak. His love for the Savior was strong, but it was still, in a sense, an immature selfish love. He wanted to please the Lord, and he sought after Jesus’ approval, instead of resting in it. He couldn’t keep his eyes on the love of Christ.
Jesus tried to tell Peter of his superficial love, but Peter couldn’t see it. Yes, Peter loved Jesus, but Jesus challenged Peter’s love.
In John 21:15-19 Jesus asked Peter three times, “Do you love me?” And three times Peter said he did. Peter was heartbroken that Jesus couldn’t see his love for Him.
Each time Jesus asked, and Peter responded, Jesus gave a command. If you love me then, “Tend my lambs…Feed my sheep.”(John 21:15-19) Jesus was asking for more. He was asking for faith and dedication. He was asking for Peter to rest in His love so that Peter could tell others of Gods goodness.
I, like Peter couldn’t see my own superficial love. I kept taking my eyes off Christ.
My perspective needed changed.
The process is messy. Through it…I gave up praying when I learned my prayers were self centered, I denied my security was in others until I had no other choice, and when asked to be obedient in a mission of giving of myself for Christ, I collapsed under my own weakness, but God is good and patient. Through it all I am learning to keep my eyes on Christ.
I long for my prayers to line up with Gods will, seeking Him over my own desires. I yearn for God to be the security of my life not others or their validation. I am learning to open my hands to let go of my needs and make room for God’s. and I want to accept the commission He is offering me by resting in His love, instead of trying to earn it.
The thing I love about the story of Jesus and Peter walking on water is that when Peter sunk and cried out, “Lord Save me!” Jesus did.
Gods love exposes the darkest parts of me. He slowly takes my eyes off of myself and He fixes them on Him!