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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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”