Thursday, May 03, 2012

Anyone but Peter

Why can’t I be Paul??Or Timothy or Paul or Matthew or Paul…

I’ve always identified with Peter.  Passionate, fearful, outspoken, dramatic, rebellious, not the fastest learner on the team, full of hot air, prideful….

Yes, I’m more like Peter than Paul.

My quiet time lately has been so convicting.  As I prepare to go to Africa, God continues to lovingly work on my heart.  Yucky things that I didn’t think I have a problem with are surfacing.

I’ve always had a hard time receiving things from people.  I love having parties, but I hate getting gifts (except from you JMad – you’re not off the hook!)  I love helping others, but hate asking for help.  I have no issue doing for others, but am not too crazy about people doing for me.  I’ve actually told JMad, many times, “I had to ask so-and-so for help.  You know I was desperate if I’m asking for help!”

And up until recently, I’ve not seen a problem with that.

Then when I was considering going on this trip, My Michele says to me, “I think you should think about asking others for support for your trip.”

Um, what?  Ask others for support?  Uh, hello, my husband is a doctor.  We can afford it.  I would feel ridiculous asking others to help me when I can do it!  Chest puffed up, I don’t need help from anyone.

My Michele says, “Sometimes it’s about blessing others by letting them bless you.  Sometimes it’s about letting others be a part of God’s work through your ministry.  Sometimes it’s learning to be humble, put away your pride and ask for help.”

Put on humility.
Put away pride.
Yeah, that’s hard for me.

When reading the story of Jesus washing the disciple’s feet, in John 13:5-11, I’ve always thought Peters reaction was a little over the top.

5 Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 6 So He came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, “Lord, do You wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.” 8 Peter said to Him, “Never shall You wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” 9 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.” 10 Jesus said to him, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, “Not all of you are clean.”

Peter goes from, No!  Never!
Scrub me down Jesus.  Every inch of me!  And don’t forget my fingernails!

I never really got that.
Until now.

Peter had a hard time putting away his pride and humbly accepting the way Jesus wanted to show his love. 
I have a hard time with that too. 

Peter doesn't like the way it makes him feel to have Jesus serve him.
I can totally understand that.

Peter doesn’t like the feeling of someone doing something for him, while getting nothing in return.
I don’t like that either.

Peter had a hard time accepting that Jesus loved him unconditionally and Peter didn’t have to do anything or prove anything to him.
That one is really hard for me.

Peter eventually pulls it together and God uses him in big ways.
I’m hoping, by putting my hope in The One, that will be what the end of my story looks like too.

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