“When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” John 21:21-22
Jesus has just given Peter his call, telling Peter if he loves Him, he must feed His sheep. He must preach the gospel and lead people to the Lord, guiding them in their walk with God. Jesus then tells him that this path will lead to persecution and death but He still calls Peter to follow Him. Peter has been given an amazing, enormous responsibility that he knows will bring glory to God and salvation to many but will also result in his own suffering. Peter replies by shifting the focus, questioning Jesus about His plans for John. What about him, Lord? What is he to do? Jesus is loving and straightforward with His beloved follower, stressing that His plans for John are of no concern to Peter. Whether John has a life of peace and blessing or one of hardship, it doesn’t change the Lord’s plans for Peter. Peter has been given his own call, unique to him and the Lord’s plans for his life. I don’t blame Peter for asking about John. After being given such a tremendous directive by Jesus, and being told it will lead to death, I’d be wondering about everyone else too. But Jesus is clear – the work He gives Peter is all Peter need be concerned about.
Earlier this week, I found myself slipping into the comparison trap. My husband and I have been walking a hard journey lately with many unexpected twists and turns. We’ve seen high highs and low lows and we continue to wait and pray for the completion of a miracle for our daughter. We have friends around us that have recently been blessed with amazing answers to prayer; miracles in themselves. We are completely overjoyed for our loved ones. Many of them are seeing God’s hand in deliverance and provision and we rejoice with them. It is astounding to see God work in these difficult situations, but this week I felt anxious thoughts start to creep in. “How much longer Lord?”, I asked. “Couldn’t there be an easier way? Why them and not us?”.
I was feeling myself start to withdraw spiritually, as we often do when disappointment with the Lord sets in. Thankfully I’ve learned to recognize this pattern and was being deliberate to fight the reclusiveness. I had a hard time finding words in prayer so I turned on some worship music. I was immediately brought to tears as the lyrics of a song spoke right into my soul. Jesus, in His firm but gentle way, reminded me that His plan for us is just that – HIS plan for US. We have a road to walk to bring about the best for His glory and for our good. And we will follow Him, wherever the road leads. What He does or doesn’t do for others is of no concern to us, other than to walk along with them in prayer and love, just as they have been doing for us.
He reminded me that He will equip us with everything we need to walk our journey. We are not alone and He is walking each step with us, strengthening us, refining us, and impacting others along the way. He WILL bring about good and amazing things through our lives BECAUSE we have yielded them to Him. If we continue to do so, the results will be more than we could ever dream or imagine.
“The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of Your hands.” Psalm 138:8
If you sometimes find yourself struggling with comparison, don’t let yourself fall into that trap, friend. That is just what the enemy wants. Satan doesn’t want you to recognize that God has designed an intentional purpose for your life. He wants to you wallow in pity, comparing your circumstances with others. This can lead us to distance ourselves from God and others, never fulfilling the destiny God intends! Know this: God has a unique plan for your life and it is greater than any you could imagine for yourself. It may not look the same as those around you but it is just as special and has just as much purpose. The Holy Spirit will equip us with all we need to fulfill our call and do it well, if we allow Him. I leave you with these lyrics that spoke to my heart so strongly this week. I pray they encourage you as well. Rely on His strength and the promises of hope He brings!
In the crushing, in the pressing
You are making new wine
In the soil, I now surrender
You are breaking new ground
So I yield to You and to Your careful hand
When I trust You I don’t need to understand
(when that truth hit me, I was brought to tears in a prayer of thankfulness and surrender…)
Make me Your vessel, make me an offering
Make me whatever You want me to be
I came here with nothing, but all You have given me
Jesus, bring new wine out of me
Love and blessings,
 Hillsong Worship. Lyrics to “New Wine”. There Is More, 2018.