Daily D – John 13:37
“Lord,” Peter asked, “why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”
JOHN 13:37 (CSB)
We have the benefit of hindsight Peter did not. No doubt his question was honestly asked and passionately delivered. He had been through so much with Jesus. He alone among the disciples walked on water with Jesus. He alone among the disciples was also saved from drowning by Jesus.
When Jesus met with Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter was there. When Jesus asked the Big Question, “Who do you say I am?” Peter spoke up first and answered correctly (Matthew 16:15, 16).
Yes, he also spoke a few rash statements, and yes, he took a few rash actions, but he was all-in on Team Jesus. And so he wanted to know, “why can’t I follow you now?”
We see why not. For one thing, as bold as his words were, they would soon turn cowardly (verses 37 and 38). For another thing, only Jesus could do what had to be done next. On the other side of Gethsemane, the cross, and the resurrection, Jesus would again say to Peter, “Follow me,” (John 21:19). Then Peter would follow him all the way to his own cross.
How many assignments or opportunities have you desired and God said, “No,”? I can think of quite a few. Here is an important fact: When God says NO, it is just as good as when he says, YES.
Sometimes the most loving and beneficial word from God is No. Sometimes it is, “Not now,” or “Not yet.” Sometimes it is “No, not ever.” God’s negative response is more loving than his positive affirmation of the wrong thing at the wrong time.
Are you wrestling with God’s No, Not Yet, or Not Ever? As difficult as this moment may be, know there are much better moments ahead. If you could see what God sees, you would agree. If you could understand God’s purpose and timing, you would joyfully acquiesce.
Seek God’s direction. Trust his timing. Know that every NO leads to a Greater YES.
I will wait for God’s Greater YES.
Our Father, I want to do your will your way in your strength in your timing. I joyfully embrace your No knowing that it leads to a Greater YES. Amen.
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Leviticus 19:32-34 “Stand up in the presence of the elderly, and show respect for the aged. Fear your God. I am the Lord. “Do not take advantage of foreigners who live among you in your land. Treat them like native-born Israelites, and love them as you love yourself. Remember that you were once foreigners living in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.”
Luke 6:27-31 “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you.”