Intro to 2 Pet and Psalm 34
Welcome this morning to 2 Peter. It looks like Bible scholars best guess is that 2 Peter was written two-ish years after 1 Peter and maybe about a year before Peter died. He sends this second letter because he can foresee some of the problems that the people of Asia Minor will continue to face after he is gone and he wants to shore up their faith and the truth in their hearts. In this letter he warns believers about false teachers who might cause them to question their faith and he wants to seal in their minds that the reports about Jesus are completely true and not fiction. He wants to challenge them to continue to grow in their faith and to live Godly lives in anticipation of Jesus return. It all sounds so very practical for today…isn’t God amazing! He knew what the people of Asia Minor were facing 2000 years ago and He knows that His same help and truth is meaningful to us this morning.
Ps 34 A few days ago my husband and I made the trip to another state to move one of our 18 year old daughters into a dorm to begin her first year away from home at college. She and her dad are planners extraordinaire so for the past 6-8 months they have been making lists, planning schedules, planning weekend visits home, purchasing supplies, and readying her for this move. I knew it would be important for her to have her new surroundings feel like home so I did my part to try to replicate everything (on a much smaller scale) that makes her feel secure and comfortable…down to the same home fragrance we use here. We even had her favorite meal, tacos, before she left. All three of us felt pretty confident in our preparation, training and readiness for her to move.
The night before my husband and I were to begin our trip back home without our daughter, she came over to our hotel room after dinner to visit. Tear drops started rolling down her cheeks from her big blue eyes and my husband and I felt shredded. She began to tell us that she was fine with being away from home, she was ready to make new friends, and she didn’t feel nervous about how she would do in her classes…everything was fine except that she wasn’t prepared for losing her entire adult support system in one weekend. She has built relationships with parents of kids she babysat for, she was blessed enough to have relationships with several of her good friends parents, we have some family close enough to us that they have been able to be in her life, and we have dear friends who have loved our kids like their own for years. She was losing a big system that would not be quickly replicated in a new city and in a college setting. These people are a big part of her safety net and her everyday life and now they would be miles away. We talked through the fact that none of these people would stop loving and supporting her because of this move but we all knew it would look a lot different. In my heart, I was crying out to God, “How do I help her through this?” I knew I was pretty much powerless.
The next morning my husband and I gave her our final hugs and headed off for 7 ½ hours in the car to home. Our hearts were so heavy we could hardly talk to each other. It was hard. About 4 hours into the trip my husband called our daughter to see how her morning had gone. (We just flat needed some encouragement!) When our daughter answered the phone, she sounded like a different kid than the one we had left a few hours back. She was her usual happy, chipper little self and my husband and I were looking at each other with eyes as big as saucers wondering what had happened. She began to tell us that she had gone to church with a girl she had met at orientation back in June. They went in and found a seat and the lady next to her in the pew introduced herself to the girls. When the lady (who is close to my age) found out they were students, she visited with them and told them they were welcome at her home any time they wanted to get away from the dorm, do some baking or cooking or just study in peace for a few hours. She also made a date for several days later to have them over for dinner. Let me remind you that we are talking about God here… one sweet lady at church just isn’t enough of a gift from Him. He also let our daughter’s roommate run into an adult cousin of hers at church. The cousin and family took the girls out for lunch after church and filled a few more hours of that first long day of nothing to do before classes start. What? Really God? In just a few hours He completely turned things around for our daughter and comforted my husband and I beyond what we can express! Are all her troubles solved with these gifts from God? We all know they are not. She will still feel loss and probably struggle with many different fears about the unknown in the days and weeks to come but she does walk away knowing that God cares deeply about her and what she is dealing with today. She got to see His interest in her life and His love specifically for her, in several people reaching out to meet her exact need, hours after we had cried out to God! I think I could have penned David’s Psalm 34 myself on the rest of our drive home. Read it again, it’s only 22 verses, to see the hope and unabandoned joy that David gets from God, and the praise and gratefulness he tries to give back to God. It’s beautiful and my heart seeks to give God the honor He deserves for His precious personal love for each one of us!
Also..the lady who had her over for dinner on Wednesday fixed tacos for dinner!!