Prophecy from Zechariah is about to be fulfilled. The Shepherd, Jesus, is about to watch his sheep, the disciples, scatter. In fear for their lives, they will desert their friend. Do you think the disciples were starting to figure out something big was about to happen? I don’t think I would have been able to comprehend the magnitude of the events that are about to unfold.
I love Peter’s response. He was always outspoken and bold. “Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you.” Little did he know. He had good intentions. Even when Jesus tried to reason with him, Peter refused to listen and believe that he could ever leave Jesus’ side. He was ready to die with Jesus.
We’ll see in upcoming passages how this plays out. For today, it is good for us to focus on Peter’s proclamation. “I will never desert you.” We, too, may have good intentions when it comes to our faith. We meant to get out of bed and make it to church, but it was so cozy under the covers. We meant to go serve at the soup kitchen with our church group, but something came up at work. We meant to read our Bible and have quiet time with God every day this week, but there were too many tasks to get done.
Those may seem like simple examples. Even more, we may have missed out on an opportunity to share our faith with someone who needed to hear. We may have not listened to someone’s cry for help because our heads were full of noise. How have you deserted Jesus this week?
We were created to be in relationship with God. When we let ourselves get caught up in activities that keep us from God, we are missing out on so many blessings. Fortunately, we have a patient God who loves us no matter what. Doesn’t he deserve more from us?
He has given us a life to live, and we want to be grateful in how we live that life. Yet, do we also recognize our need for a Savior? Are we so closed minded and hardhearted to see how our own failings are keeping us separated from the blessed life God wants for us?
I know I was trapped in my own regret and remorse for years. I was hiding in a marriage full of abuse and fear. I didn’t see a way out that didn’t offend God and the vow I had made before him. Like a martyr, I took my punishment and thought that was the end. I accepted less than what God wanted for me. I had deserted God. He did not desert me.
God never deserts us. No matter how far we may run. We need to be more realistic than Peter. Yet, we need to be bold like Peter and never imagine ourselves apart from God. When we have that determination, we are much more likely to stay true to our devotion. We will never be perfect, but we can sure try.
Let’s pray. Lord, forgive me when I let the world crowd you out. May my devotion to you be stronger than any force that tries to deceive and derail me. Thank you that you never give up on me. Give me a boldness and the confidence to be exactly who you want me to be. May I shine from within as your Spirit glows within me. I love how I tingle when your Spirit moves. Use me today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.