Peter and the Sword

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus faced His upcoming sacrifice for our sins. He knew what lay ahead and asked His disciples to pray with Him, but they were tired and had eaten a big meal so they fell asleep. There in the garden alone Jesus spoke with His Father, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”

Scripture tells us that an angel was sent to strengthen Him. In His agony  His sweat fell as drops of blood. Something powerfully supernatural was happening in that garden, but those who loved Jesus missed it because they were “doing their own thing”.

Jesus went to wake them and said, Are you still sleeping and resting?… Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.” And then a great multitude arrived to take Jesus. There were people with swords and clubs as well as a large number of Roman soldiers fully armed. They came in the flesh to take One who walked in the Spirit.

So Peter, who was now awake, decided he needed to do something to save Jesus. Facing a huge crowd of heavily armed people, He grabbed a sword and struck a servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. Not only did he not accomplish anything positive, but he was now in big trouble. Not only had he taken a Roman soldier’s sword, but he had harmed a servant of the high priest. At the very least he was facing imprisonment, at the worst execution.

Sometimes when we are standing we can be a bit like Peter. God is moving in the spirit realm, but we do not see it. Then, in a moment of desperation, we take matters into our own hands and do something foolish. We try to manipulate circumstances or people. We do or say things we immediately regret. In most cases, we make matters worse, not better.

But Jesus, in the midst of all He was dealing with at that moment, reached down and healed the ear of the servant. He saved Peter from the consequences of his actions. And then He said to him, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?”

In other words, God has a plan and your actions are not part of it. Put away your ways of the flesh.

Thank heaven we have a Savior who can bring healing to the things we have said or done in the flesh. On our own we are no more able to bring healing to our marriage than Peter was able to defend Jesus again a raging crowd. Our small fleshly response is so inadequate for the problems we face.

Lord, help us to keep our eyes on You and what You are doing in our life and in that of our spouse. The next time we are tempted to take matters into our own hands, may we remember Peter and the sword. Let us not feel we need to help You accomplish what You are doing. Love, Marilyn

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord… Jeremiah 29:11


The Learning Curve

There is a sign in my office that reads, “When was the last time you did something for the very first time?” Doing what we know how to do is much easier than learning how to do something new. And the older we get, the more we enjoy sticking to what we know.

Yet, it is exciting to face new challenges, to learn new things. Sure, at first we can feel totally lost and a bit confused, but if we keep working at it, we soon learn the ins and outs of our new venture.

So it is with this blog. I had become comfortable with the old site. I knew how to navigate it and how to add graphics to each post. It was easy once I learned the basics. And now I am once again learning new basics. Each aspect of this new venture requires searching and finding answers. It is a challenge, but then I love a challenge!

Marriage is like that as well. Over the years we begin to rest in what we are good at. We learn the “dance” of what to do and what to avoid. Sometimes that works as the years go by. Sometimes, though, the dance is interrupted when one spouse decides to leave the marriage or refuses to grow anymore within it. Then we have the opportunity to learn something new.

I have always said that I hated what happened to our marriage years ago, but I have never regretted what I learned as I walked with the Lord through my stand. Yes, it was hard, very hard, at first. I had to learn to trust the Lord as I had never trusted Him before. I had to be honest about my own heart and my own life before Him. I had to learn to forgive things I had never dreamed I would need to forgive and I had to learn to repent for things I never thought were a problem. The learning curve was tough!

Somewhere in there, though, Jesus taught me how to get my eyes off my own pain and hurt and onto Him alone. I learned to cling to Him during the hardest times and to rejoice with Him with each new victory. And initially those victories were not in my husband’s life or in our relationship, but in my own heart as I grew to know Him like never before and walk with Him in peace and joy.

If we are willing, the Holy Spirit never stops teaching us. Our circumstances change, but He is always faithfully leading us in truth. If we allow Him, each experience becomes a step deeper into the wealth of Christ living in us. Everything we encounter gives us opportunity to be Spirit-led in our reaction. It never ends if we surrender our lives to Him.

We need to throw away our clocks and our calendars. Walking with Jesus is a marathon, not a sprint. It isn’t about doing what we need to do to get what we want. It is about an eternal relationship with Him and it’s worth whatever the learning curve requires! Love, Marilyn

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” John 14:26