What happens when you hit a brick wall going 60 miles per hour? Your car ends up in pieces, you end up battered and bruised, and it hurts.
How can you pick yourself back up when you’ve hit a wall?
Peter was going top speed with Jesus, ministering at every opportunity, dining with the Master and learning new things every day. Jesus even lifted him up to be one of the chosen three, one of Jesus’ closest friends.
Then, right when Peter thought everything was going great, Jesus was arrested.
First, Peter tried fighting back—but Jesus told him not to. Instead, Peter followed from a distance, ready to run to Jesus’ aid if the opportunity arose—but then the weirdest thing happened. People offered him an opportunity to speak up, and every time, he denied his calling in order to save his own skin. Peter denied he even knew Jesus. Peter truly hit a wall.
Peter’s wall was two parts:
1. Jesus didn’t do what Peter expected. Jesus died.
2. Peter didn’t act the way he expected himself to. Peter failed to support his friend.
Have you ever hit that kind of a wall? God doesn’t do what you expected, life doesn’t turn out like you thought it would or, even worse, you don’t act the way you thought you would.
Peter not only survived smashing into the brick wall, but just a short time later he came back strong, standing up and being the person God called him to be.
Let’s look at Peter’s recovery and see what we can learn.
1. Get some time alone. After Jesus rose from the dead, the angel told the women, “Go tell the disciples and Peter ... ” It appears Peter was not with the others. He got away by himself—probably to lick his wounds and beat himself up for a while. Time alone is important. Just like time in the hospital after a real accident, time alone will help your brain adjust to your new reality and rest from the shock.
2. Forgive God. It feels like we should never need to forgive God—He is God, after all, right? Yet when He doesn’t act like we think He should, we hold it in, afraid to let Him know we are disappointed and hurt. A real relationship is one where you can admit your hurt, your frustration and your anger. Let God know what you are thinking!
David and Jeremiah are particularly good at this. They wrote what we call laments—prayers that say, “God, You said You’d do this, or this is who You are, but this is my reality—they don’t match. I need you to show up!”
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