I have been reading the Book of John. John is one of the four gospels that is used to present the salvation message to Gentiles (non Jews). It leaves out many of the traditional Jewish customs that are used in the other gospels and that often help in the understanding of the passage. I did not purposely pick John in preparation for Ecuador but God has used to speak deep truths into my life. How incredible is the God I serve!
Anyway, today I read chapter 21 (the last chapter). Jesus was crucified and raised from the dead 3 days later. He has already appeared the the disciples two other times and now is appearing to them a third. 5 of the disciples were out on a boat fishing, one of them being Peter. Jesus tells them to let down their nets on the other side of the boat and they caught a huge catch. They realize that it is Jesus on the shore telling them this. Peter jumps out of the boat to greet him. They all sit down for some fellowship over breakfast.
While there Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves Him. This is representative of the three times Peter denied Christ. (Just a background of Peter: he deeply loved Jesus and was a great leader, later he would become the leader of the Christian church and die a martyrs death). Jesus goes on to describe how Peter will one day be killed for his faith. Peter sees another disciple approach and asks Jesus if he will also be killed this way. This is what Jesus answers:
"If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me."
(Jn 21:22, NIV)
Wow! Jesus is telling Peter your path is your path and his is his. I give you each path for a reason and a purpose. You must follow yours and not worry about where other paths may lead.
I think many times I don't understand why God has put me on the path he has. But it doesn't matter. It is my path and I must follow it. I shouldn't be looking at others who seem to "have so much more then me." I shouldn't be asking God why their path is what it is. I should accept mine because God has a bigger picture in mind. He needs me to follow my path for that picture. If I don't will God's greater purpose still be done? Absolutely. However, I shudder to think the blessings he has for my life that I will be missing.
Peter went on to be a strong leader. He did wonderful things for believers. He reached many for Christ. I'm sure God showered him with many a blessing when he reached heaven. Over 2000 years later he is one of the most well known disciples. (I'm sure Judas beats him). His testimony and his faith are still encouraging and reaching believers and non believers. 1, 2, and 3 Peter are some very powerful books of the Bible. He could have hid from God's path and God's blessing, but the cost would of been greater then anyone could imagine.
So as I head to Ecuador I am excited to see how this twist in my path will lead to hopefully the ultimate gift, the glorification of God. I pray that I will not miss God's path for my life or complain about it. I pray I will accept it in faith and be able to do great things for Him!
If you would like to follow our teams journey into Ecuador please vist our blog.