Thank You

John 21

“Can I see it?”  The words come from Freddy in the backseat.  “No,” is Annika’s simple response.  Not liking the answer, the question comes again, still the same, but a little louder, “can I see it?”  “No,” is again the response, now matching his tone.  “Annika, just let me see it, I’ll give it right back.”  Silence.  “Dad, would you tell Annika to let me see it?”  “No,” is my simple reply.  “Why not?  That’s not fair!” says Freddy, now agitated and becoming hostile.  Cooly and calmly, I remind him “because I love her more.”  Amazingly, that simple phrase ends it. Maybe it’s a cruel method.  Of course, it is not true.  My objective is not to put one child higher than another, it is simply to point out that the argument is ridiculous.

Jesus does something similar to Peter today in John 21.  Take a closer look at verses 18-23.  Actually, go all the way back to John 13:25.  They were at the last supper.  The disciple, John, was sitting next to Jesus, leaning back on him.  This was a sign that Jesus favored John over all the others.  Know what happened?  Peter got jealous, just like Freddy.  He wanted that attention and recognition for himself.  

This was a recurring issue for Peter.  Looking on to verse 18, Jesus gives him a picture of a tough life and a brutal death.  Peter accepted it.  Sort of.  At least, he was willing to submit to Jesus command, “follow me.”  But, Peter was not fully resolved.  He was still asking, internally “why, me?”  Reading forward to verse 21, they were walking. Peter asks Jesus “Lord, what about [John]?.”  He’s really asking, “hey, what about John.  Is he going to die badly, too?”  (v21).  In a nice way, Jesus’ response is “No.  He is going to live a long and bountiful life.”  Im sure that Peter didn’t hear it that way.  I’m betting that he heard “because I love him more.”  

I wonder how often we compare ourselves to other people and assume that God loves them more because their circumstances are better than ours.  This is simply not true.  In fact, God had special plans for Peter that only Peter could carry out.  The same is true for us.  Our inability to accept our current circumstances as God’s perfect plan for our lives will prevent us from fulfilling our destiny.  Today, Im finding the best words for God, despite all my trials and tribulation are “Thank You.”