I am so so so thankful. Thankful for a great, fun and relaxing weekend with Matt (I wish we had done this before in the past 10 years...we need to do a better job of prioritizing us, even with little ones!) for Carl, Mary, Dad and Cindy trading off the girls for us, and just for the opportunity.
Life so easily becomes all about your work, ministry and children...it was fun to remember WHY I wanted to start all of that with Matt 10 years ago.
It was also a gift to get real, uninterrupted quality time with the Lord instead of searching for snatches throughout my day. Reading through 1 and 2 Peter the last three days, I am reminded anew just how pertinent, practical and powerful His Word is for right now...for the world and for ME.
In just a few chapters, I was able to meditate and set my mind and heart on "A Living Hope", on being a "Living Stone, A People for God's Own Possession," on "Christ Our Example," on "Godly Living," on "Keeping Fervent in Your Love," on "Sharing the Sufferings of Christ," on "Serving God Willingly," on "Growing in Christian Virtue," on "The Rise of False Days" and His coming and on "A New Heaven and Earth."
I mean, ALL that...all the depth and hope and inspiration and discipline and reminder...in just a few chapters. What a rich few days!
This is one of the major things that stood out to me, as Peter repeats and repeats and repeats it. He is writing, he says, to stir us up, to remind us...he says it again and again, that we should remember, that we must remember.
Remembering who He is, what He's doing, what He wants and what He is going to do MUST be really important. We are forgetters. All of us...we are busy, life gets crazy, the world says otherwise, we're hit hard, and suddenly...we forget.
We mustn't. We must remember, and keep plugged into His Word to REMIND us.
Another major thing that stood out to me is his emphasis, over and over, on how important our continued GROWTH in Him is. This only happens AS we remember, and recommit...but how many times does Peter talk, in these two chapters, about how important it is that we be more diligent, that we be more disciplined, and that we grow!
He is not talking simply to children or to new believers or to youth rallies or Seminary students...
He is talking to Christ followers, 9 to 90, moms and grandpas and new believers and always believers. 2 Peter 1:
Applying all diligence:
with faith supply moral excellence,
and in your moral excellence, knowledge
and in your knowledge, self control
and in your self-control, perseverance
and in your perseverance, godliness
and in your godliness, kindness
and in your kindness, love
For if these qualities are yours and are increasing,
they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in Jesus.
Lest we be useless or unfruitful, we must be possessing this qualities and INCREASING in them...growing. Always growing. Remembering who He was, who He is, what He wants and what He is doing, and increasing in Him.
It is easy, so many times, to feel that "increasing" is just not going to be happening right now.
Your child is sick. It's a horrific time at work. Your parents are failing. Your carpool situation is insane. You are going through something, you're feeling sick all the time, you're 9 months pregnant, you're 87, you're overworked, you're traveling, you're in trouble, you're moving, you just lost someone...whatever.
Increasing? Yeah. Let's just aim for survival.
I get that. I feel that way so many times, I even say that...little prayers, "Lord, just help me MAKE this. Get through this. Hang in there."
And then there have been times of crazy or broken or despairing where instead I have searched Him without ceasing and begged, "GROW ME, Lord."
And there is a BIG difference between the times I have been useless and unfruitful to Him and times I have been grown and bearing.
Even just in light of the many things happening and changing in our nation (which, by the way, is not happening to, surprising or changing God) 1st and 2nd Peter met me...for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.
I am newly reminded to GROW. Even now. Especially now.
And I am newly grateful that growing is something HE does when I'm committed to it, disciplined, diligent.
Today is too short, there is too much at stake, there is too much that matters so greatly...to be useless and fruitless.
Start in Peter...or start somewhere...or keep on, friend.