Fishing Boats on the Beach

I take great comfort in Peter’s life.  In fact, I think I would be good friends with him because he was as passionate as he was flawed.

He was a fisherman with no worldly credentials or achievements.

He was impetuous—ask the servant whose right ear was cut off.

He was double-minded—he acknowledged that Jesus “was the Christ “ (Mark 8:29) and then near the end of Jesus’ ministry told the woman “I do not know Him.” (Luke 22:57)

He was argumentative and unbelieving—he brushed aside Jesus’s command to “let down his nets” by stating “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything.”  (Luke 5:5)

His propensity to put his “foot in his mouth” on more than one occasion was amazing: “You shall never wash my feet.”(John 13:8)

However what I really love about Peter is how Jesus interacted with him. He renamed Peter the “rock” when in actuality; Jesus could have called him a “speck of dust.” He gave this flawed, ordinary man some incredible marching orders–be a fisher of men, feed His sheep and follow Him.

Personally, I believe the hardest marching orders of all was the command to “follow  Me.”  This would require Peter to die to his own lovely self, to deny himself–his ambition, his pride, his personality, his weaknesses along with his strengths. And then to take up the cross and follow Him.  (Luke 16:24-25)

Ouch! Those words hit home. It’s easy for me to dwell on my shortcomings, my abundant faux pas, with an occasional accomplishment thrown in, but in the end, my lovely self needs to be crucified as well. And to be honest, some habits and thought patterns are so ingrained that it is going to require a major renovation of the soul.

Self versus Jesus. Hmmmm. It is at this point that Peter and I could have reached best friend’s status.

How about you? What qualities of Peter’s can you relate to? How do you struggle with Jesus’ command to die to yourself? And what practical things do you do to make sure that you are following Him? Please post your thoughts!

karen A little bit about Karen: I was raised Jewish but in my late twenties, I came to know Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior.  And what a turnaround it was! Soon afterwards, I met and married my best friend, Clayton and had two children. I homeschooled them for awhile, before returning to Grand View University where I received a degree in Graphic Journalism, merging two loves of mine, writing and art. After a fun turn of events, I began designing and writing at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, where I currently serve as the Director of Publicity and Promotion.

In recent years, God has birthed a burning passion for lending a helping hand to those  in poverty, especially south of our border. He has also created avenues to provide physical help to some wonderful refugees who live in Des Moines. Besides spending lots of time with my husband and children, I love photography, art, running and am a huge fan of Christian authors, such as Max Lucado, Timothy Keller, Alan Hirsch, and Michael Frost. I would also be remiss not to mention another love of mine—donuts—especially the buttermilk ones at Donut Hut on Douglas Ave in Des Moines.