God and I have been having a chat about me and my attitude--more importantly, about my actions, or lack thereof. This is not an easy thing to confess; but I don't suppose it's an isolated problem. These talks are never easy, but I also saw this coming last week when I posted about the 1995 entries.
There is a bit of disparity between the Synoptic Gospels' telling of the story of Jesus' prediction of Peter's denial and John's version. It might be an interesting thing to think about at some point...
You will all fall away," Jesus told them, "for it is written:
" 'I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep will be scattered.'
But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee."
Peter declared, "Even if all fall away, I will not."
"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "today--yes, tonight--before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times."
But Peter insisted emphatically, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you." And all the others said the same. (Mark 14:27-31)
Peter asked, "Lord, why can't I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you."
Then Jesus answered, "Will you really lay down your life for me? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times! (John 13:37-38)
"If you love me, you will obey what I command. (John 14:15)
These passages have a lot of significance for me today. Lately, I've caught myself praying some prayers that sound remarkably like some of the ones I prayed in 1995. "Lord, I need this... You know that I would be faithful with it." ... It's almost as if I can hear God chuckling as His Spirit points me to these passages. ... "Like I knew Peter wouldn't deny me? Is that what you mean? Remember: I know your heart and mind much better than you do. Where you deceive yourself, I know the truth. I know that you tire when your work does not produce much fruit, when people put up barriers to your success and when they ridicule you. I know this just as I know that security was more important to Peter than loyalty and that this would cause him to disown me when loyalty could cost him his life. So let's talk about whether you love me... Remember: I had this talk with Peter..."
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?"
"Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."
Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?"
He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep."
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. I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "Follow me!"
Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, "Lord, who is going to betray you?") 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." Because of this, the rumor spread among the brothers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?" (John 21:15-23)
It is not easy for me to be faithful with the things I have during times of depression and anxiety. But it is an expectation that God has of me; and if I disobey and insist on wasting my time until He "makes me feel better," why should I expect good things from Him?