Friday, June 26, 2009
I have watched the movie Saved twice in the past week. It never fails to make me laugh hard, and it never fails to reveal something new to me about people of faith. Good Christian people are as human as the next, and the more we try to pretend otherwise, the greater our folly and our faithlessness. In one scene, a particular favorite of mine, the group of righteous girls try to perform an exorcism on Mary, who is pregnant but hiding it. They get very angry with her lack of cooperation and one girl throws a bible at her. It is all very funny, and all too true. When people are in trouble and hurting, we often turn our backs on them and throw the good book at them. We leave then high and dry when they need us the most. We are afraid we might be human and broken too if we get too close or reach out a hand.
"I tell you Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me." Luke 22:34
Peter is so like us all. He promises to go to his death for Jesus and within hours refuses to even know him. When things get tough and our backs are against the wall, we panic and grab for any way out. And we can deny the love we have been given and forsake our friends and loved ones. The good news for today is that Jesus says to Peter -" Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." Jesus stands with us in our darkest hour, knowing the failing of our faith and our ability to turn away in fear. And he prays for us now as he prays for Peter then.
Today, in the midst of overwhelming transitions, scattered possessions and relationships, I want to trust that Jesus is standing with me in these challenging times. The pressure is high, and Jesus is closer than ever, even when we are being tested and tried by ebb and flow of life. So today, I want to be completely human like Peter and completely trusting that Jesus walks with me, even on the most challenging days. And I ask for the courage to strengthen others when the tide has turned and I feel the weight of these times fade away.