I believe with all my heart, that who I am when I am alone, is who I truly am. What I truly believe and what faith I truly have, becomes evident when the only person that can see me is me and God. It doesn’t matter who I am in a crowd of people. It doesn’t matter who I am when I am all dressed up on a Sunday. It doesn’t matter who I am when I am pushed and prodded.
I am who I am when I am alone.
Why do I share this?
Well, look at who Peter was in the crowd? When the soldiers came to get Jesus, didn’t he act the part of a hero? Maybe he was remembering the haunting words of Jesus that predicted his betrayal….. I don’t know what was going through his mind, but the fact is, in the presence of Jesus and his friends, he acted bravely. He courageously came to the defense of Jesus.
Maybe he was expecting Jesus to congratulate him. I don’t know.
Instead, he was rebuked in front of everyone and told to sheath his sword.
I feel for Peter. I really do.
Not long after, when he is alone, when he is not surrounded by his friends, Peter caves. He is confronted by a servant girl, someone of very low standing…..the lowest of the low- a servant – a girl. Yet, he gives into his fear. Was he brave a few moments earlier because he was putting on a show? Was being in the presence of Jesus and like-minded friends what boosted his confidence? I really don’t know. But, I do know that I am often kinder, sweeter, more patient, more “godly” when in the presence of my church friends. Hmmmmm. And then, when I am alone or just around my family, I easily become, well….less kind, less sweet, less patient, less “godly.”
I often wonder, who would I be when confronted with a situation like Peter faced. If I believed my death was imminent because I am a Christian, would I cave under the pressure? I hope not. All I can do now, is practice for that day. I must push myself beyond my fears now. Is sharing about Jesus scary to me? Then I should share! If I don’t do it now, when I have my freedom and when the worst that would really happen to me is that someone looks at me funny or thinks I am weird, then will I stand for Jesus if someone says I will die if I don’t deny Him?
It encourages me to know that both John and Peter became wholly different men. It would be worth your while to read Acts 4, when Peter and John are again in the presence of the priests, Pharisees and other officials. Acts 4:13 says, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.”
As the days get longer, the nights get shorter and work on our land increases, I increasingly grow weary. Working on the land isn’t easy and by this time at night, I am physically exhausted. Being with and teaching 3 different grade levels throughout the day (elementary, middle and high school) is draining too. Add to that making three meals per day…… Each of us are given 24 hours and have so many people and responsibilities vying for our attention. It is my prayer, that we help each other stay focused on our number one priority – our time and relationship with our Lord and savior. What I highlighted in bold above, is to help us remember, that we can be different – we can be bold – and we can astonish those around us, if we continue to abide in Jesus and not neglect our relationship with Him. May everyone around us recognize that we have been with Jesus!