John 9:1 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. 2 “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” 3 “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.4 We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work.5 But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.” NLT
Real life is less than a perfect display place but
The purpose of Jesus was not limited by “dis-ability”
“so the power of God could be seen.”
“But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world”
“You are the light of the world.
—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden…
so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”a
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for…13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. NIV
Hebrews 11 is called the “By Faith” chapter. Twenty one times it uses that phrase to show the human side of the real life of notable “ancients” elsewhere in the Bible. The intersection of living by faith and the evidence of real life circumstance was just as mysterious for them as it is for me today as a new widow but they were commended for living “by faith.” Oswald Chambers said “Believe God is always the God you know Him to be when you are nearest to Him” so…
I will live by faith believing life is different, but still good
I will live by faith that what I can’t control does not mean I am helpless
I will live by faith that redeems without me knowing all the details
I will live by faith in yet undiscovered reserves of strength
I will “live” by faith that Jesus is nearest to me right now
15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. Real life has provided me an opportunity to remember how wide the separation between what I believe and what my response to circumstances can be. Today I feel like Peter, sputtering my assurances to justify my lack of strength, peace and joy even at the same time I’m convinced of my own repentance. It’s a mystery isn’t it?
Even a life of faith and absolute commitment has moments when facing your own brokenness is a harsh reality. I’ve read these verses countless times before but today Peter’s attempt to reassure Jesus of his love has become more real because it seems like mine too. “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Simon Peter knew the harsh reality of his brokenness. The intensity of his words is almost tangible as he responds to Jesus taking him through that progression of the same question over and over; “do you love me?” Jesus could just as easily have said “I forgive you.” Peter would have expected that forgiveness, and been comforted…but Jesus had something more to give Peter during that early morning confrontation of vows and responses. There was one thing that would ultimately forgive Peter’s lack of strength, comfort his loss of peace and restore his joy too.
Jesus’s gave Peter His trust!
…knowing Peter would complete his vows of love and
“feed my lambs…take care of my sheep…feed my sheep.”