Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.

Peter was fishing that day, he was good at it, and put his whole heart into anything he did, so, of course, he wasn’t wearing his heavy cloak (coat.) When the “disciple whom Jesus loved” said “It is the Lord,” in full trust and devotion, Peter grabbed his cloak and jumped in. After all, he had done it once before and started to walk on the water, maybe this time it would work out better. Or not. He trusted Jesus to do the impossible, just as we can do the same in our lives. Peter went fishing that night on the Sea of Galilee with nothing to show for his effort. Jesus gave him special instructions and again the haul is beyond belief, really miraculous. Fast forward, Peter wasn’t perfect, even after three years with Jesus, in person! He still made arrogant comments, insisted he would never stumble, denied Jesus and his pride suffered greatly. But his faith never wavered.

I love Peter, he is the one person besides Jesus I can’t wait to meet. He is the one I most identify with. He is always questioning, (not doubting) because he wanted to understand the back story and the logistics involved. Me too. Yet, he was trusting, passionate, and not afraid to jump out of the boat to see his Lord even when he didn’t know all the answers. I’m still learning. How about you?

Jesus spent three years being the perfect example to Peter, smoothing his rough edges, and impulsive, sometimes reckless behavior into a God-honoring, humble man, focused leader, and preacher. He was equipping Peter, by not protecting him from the enemy sometimes, so that going through the hard stuff, he would become a leader of compassion who understood human weakness–and he understood it well. (Read 1 Peter 5:8-10)

The price of preaching would be Peter’s death on the cross upside down after watching his wife crucified. That kind of courage could only come from a seasoned man of God. Peter’s life could be summed up in the final words of his second epistle: “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). That is exactly what Simon Peter did, and that is why he became Rock—the great leader of the early church.” (Adapted from Twelve Ordinary Men)

Can you relate to Peter’s life? Do you feel like your spiritual growth has been five steps forward, ten steps back sometimes and wondered why God allowed certain things to happen in your life? I have, but through the hardest times, I’ve learned when I surrender complete control I begin to see how he is working all things for good, I have his peace and a renewed spirit. We can all have Peter’s compassion for people and be ready to jump out of the boat for Jesus when we are focused on Him, willing to humble ourselves, and have unwavering faith like Peter.

Deb Hill
Exec. Assistant to Ryan Paulson

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