Have you ever heard of the story of Peter who denied Jesus three times?
Please note that the following conversation is paraphrased. The real thing can be found here.
According to legend (aka the Bible), Jesus once told Peter, “Dude, you’re going to betray me.” Peter was like, “Me??? Neverrrr.” Then Jesus was like, “Oh for real? Before the cock crows tomorrow you would’ve denied me three whole times already.” Then Peter was like, “Oh now I know you’re just saying stuff! I could NEVA!” (See Luke 22:33-34 and Matthew 26:31-35)
Well, let’s just say that if they had placed a bet, Peter would be owing Jesus A LOT of money right now. Thank God they weren’t betting people because Peter really sold Jesus out… like, big time. See (Luke 22:54-62)
But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” Luke 22:33
When things are going well, it is really easy to make bold statements like, “I will never leave you” and “I will stay with you through thick or thin” or in the song I’ve been singing this week (Refiner), “I want to be tried by the fire”. You see, when we’re in high spirits, we feel like we can do anything… till the high fades and reality hits us. That, ladies and gentlemen, is where we will know [for sure] that we’re going to do what we claim we will do. Sometimes, we are able to honour our words, other times, we are like Peter, and we get lost in the moment and fail, miserably.
What do we do after the betrayal/disappointment though?
And he went outside and wept bitterly. Luke 22:62
Peter regretted what he’d done, so much so that he never denied Jesus again. Ever. And believe me, with some of the things he went through, it would’ve been a whole lot easier to say, “Oh Jesus, you know my heart” and then denied him [again]. But no… Peter went on to be ‘The Rock on which the church will be built’. He became one of the OG Ride-or-Die’s of our time! (We love to see it!)
I want to be tried by fire Purifier You take whatever you desire Lord, here’s my life
A couple of weeks or even years ago, I might have shunned away from singing a song as intense as this. Like… Nana, do you know what you’re asking for? You are literally welcoming all the hard times into your life… willingly. *shivers* I mean, I was not about to tell God that I liked all the suffering. No sir!
However, this week, as I was singing along, I realised how honest I was being. I look back on everything I’ve been through and how God has worked [and/or is working] it all together for my good and I am in awe. Because I know that he loves me – infinitely and unconditionally – and because I know that he is always right by my side through it all, I am confident in making such claims. I see the beautiful result of all the times I almost gave up and I am thankful I went through what I went through.
“Yeah, I went through that but I came out on the other side. I’ve got Survivors’ Skin. These aren’t scars, these are memories to who I used to be and how I came out on the other side.”Sarah Jakes Roberts
I won’t lie, people, it is easier said. I mean, there are times when I wonder, “Does this ever end?!” The irony is, when things get rough, it makes our bond grow stronger. I grew up understanding that the only person who can truly do anything about anything is God. So when the going gets tough, I seek comfort in the warmth of his embrace. I must admit that sometimes, it turns out to be the last thing I do, but you know what, I never regret running to him. Ever.
If the altar is where you meet me Take me there If what you need is just an offering Its right here, my life is here And I’ll be a living sacrifice for you
Nana Agyeiwaa Nyameba
P. S. Refiner, ladies and gentlemen… if you dare 🙂