“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Matthew 16:15 NIV
Peter’s answer, though a universal truth, was Peter’s answer. Each of us must answer this question for him/herself.
Who is Jesus for you? Who is He for me?
He’s the Shepherd who found and rescued this lost sheep—and to tell you about that, I have to go back to the beginning. Or, rather, to the end—the end of who I was.
A lifetime of searching and disappointments, years with a brutal, shattering husband. At the end of those years, this vessel named Grace wasn’t a pile of shards; it was a pile of dust.
Then Jesus came.
He’s the warm light that began to glow and grow in that cold gray heap, fusing the remains into a new vessel. That goblet, His new creation hollowed out to make room for Him, has a glow that was never there before.
But that golden goblet is still inside this jar of clay. This breakable old jar of clay.
The health and wealth gospel notwithstanding, we will face troubles. Fire is the only way to purify gold. Bad times are the only way to test the strength of a new faith.
If you know and trust the Shepherd when trouble comes, you naturally run to Him. If you don’t really know Him, you’ll blame Him. After all, He’s the One who can. If He doesn’t, either He isn’t really strong enough, or He doesn’t care, or He just gets a kick out of watching you struggle, like a little boy pulling the wings off butterflies.
Jesus doesn’t pull off wings; He gives wings.
Satan prowls like a roaring lion to see who he can find to chow down on. Like any other lion, he seeks the easiest prey: baby Christians, wounded Christians, weary Christians.
The baby gazelle’s best bet is staying close to its mom in the middle of the herd. Our best bet is staying close to God in the middle of a godly church family. Get there and stay there.
Avi, draw me closer to You. Nobody else can send that sneaky lion packing like You can. Nobody can carry the weight You can. Carry the burdens You gave me, Avi, and toss the ones I’ve just picked up along the way.
In Your holy name, Amen.