Devotional Stories to Help us Walk with Jesus:
Good Night, Peter
I couldn’t sleep! I tried every trick to quiet my mind. Even counted the sheep I remembered seeing in the pasture next to our camp. Nothing worked. Just kept tossing and turning for I don’t know how long with reoccurring disturbing thoughts that seemed to go nowhere . . .
I love kids, but these seemed to be getting in the Master’s way and keeping Him from doing what I thought He needed to be doing. Kids just making a nuisance of themselves—I thought! Then, I remembered how Jesus looked at me and said, “Don’t keep these children from me! These are those that make up my kingdom—surely you know that!”
And then there was the time we went up on that mountain. A glorious time! I wanted to savor the moment and provide Jesus, Moses, and Elijah a place to stay for a while. Then, in the cloud, I got the message, “Stop trying to orchestrate what you see. Be quiet and pay attention to what He tells you.”
Then, when he said He was going to be killed and taken from us—that seemed to me to be a bit too much. “Never happen Lord!” I said. He looked sternly at me and said, “Peter, you and I are not on the same page. You are looking at my life in a way that makes you a partner with the Devil.” You are a stumbling block!” Wow! I was only trying to protect Him and keep Him from danger. Just trying to keep Him focused on His mission . . . as I saw it.
On another occasion He said I would deny Him. What kind of talk is this? I would never do a thing like that!
Well, maybe I am not cut out to be His follower. Obviously, I don’t understand what He is doing, and the longer I follow Him the less I feel I really understand what He expects of me.
With the others fast asleep, under a moonlit night, I decided to get up and go look at those sheep—you know, just to be sure I counted them correctly. Within a few minutes of counting, I felt Jesus’ comforting hand on my shoulder.
“Can’t sleep, Peter? Good you got up so we could talk a bit. I saw you twisting and turning—Peter your thoughts are keeping you awake. I know every word you are playing and replaying over and over in your sleepless mind. I never intended you to take today’s troubles to bed with you. Do what I do. Every night before I close my eyes, I give the thoughts and troubles of this day to my Father in heaven. You should do the same.
“Peter, here’s something you need to know. You are a work in progress. Your spirit has yet to be broken—but I am going to fix that. You still have a pride-attitude that thinks you can plan, orchestrate, and protect my ultimate mission for your life. You can’t do that! You need to learn that I’m in control of every event, every detail that touches your life. Keep your hands off!
“One day, Peter, you will no longer count these sheep, but you will feed my sheep. When you learn the lesson I am going to teach you, you will say to my sheep . . .
Brothers and sisters, I want you to know from personal experience, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that He may lift you up at the appropriate time. Cast all your worries on Him, for He cares for you.” (I Peter 5:5b-7, TLV)
“Peter, let’s get back to sleep—the morning comes soon enough and with it its own troubles. O yes, before you close your eyes, give me your worries and troubled thoughts. (And, in a whispered voice) . . . I can handle them! Good Night, Peter. “
For He provides for His beloved ones even in their sleep. (Psalm 127:2b, TLV)
P.S. A note to the reader: Try substituting Peter’s name with yours. See if that fits!
Look for the next parable on August 28.
As an active member of the family at Trinity, Don is a regular contributor to Trinity’s weekly eNews letter. He enjoys writing and has authored several books, including “This Ugly Disease—A Caregiver’s Journey into Pain, Anguish and Hope.” With biblical insights, his writings provide spiritual encouragement for many. His son and daughter-in-law, Graham and Susan, are also members at Trinity.