April 12, 2017


Matthew 26:22 They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely not I, Lord?”

To me this verse shows the growing spiritual maturity of the disciples. In the first place, they didn’t doubt Him for a moment, even though what He said seemed unthinkable. In the second place, it seems that not one of them discounted the possibility that they might be the betrayer, which shows commendable humility. Actually, it was just minutes after this that Peter made his bold claim of loyalty, even in the face of Jesus saying that he would deny Him, so we know their maturity and humility weren’t perfect by any means. Even so, it looks to me like they had come a long way in the three years or so they had been with Jesus. However, as Paul acknowledged, we always have more room to grow. (Philippians 3:12-14) As long as we are in these bodies, God keeps allowing things that show us our need for growth, if we will only recognize them as such. Things that make us angry, things that tie us in knots, anything that disturbs His peace in our hearts is a gentle reminder that we have room to grow in trusting Him with every detail of our lives. We feel we are entitled to a problem-free existence, and our resentment at not having that is our biggest problem! The failures of others are often involved in our frustrations so we become angry at them, not letting God be God of that specific detail. We protest at the unfairness of others blaming us for things we didn’t cause, but we do the same thing, and often enough our failures really do cause frustration for others. We can’t force anyone else to trust God fully, but we can make that choice for ourselves. We can’t generate faith, but we can choose to accept the faith that God offers to us, and thus mature as His children.

I’m in the middle of a lesson in this area big time. Cathy has had a computer problem that has made using her computer awkward at best since the beginning of this week. The replacement part finally arrived yesterday and I installed it, only to have Windows insist that I had made some major change, which I hadn’t, and refuse to boot at all. (I do have fairly extensive computer hardware experience.) My only recourse at this point is to get through to the Microsoft help desk, but their hours are limited, and my past interactions with them don’t make me overly optimistic. My turmoil at that kept me from getting a good night’s sleep, and then this morning there were other, unrelated irritations. Just before I got around to opening my Bible, it hit me that all of these things are “1st world” problems arising from the luxury in which we live. In all of this I have forgotten gratitude! We want our lives to be largely uneventful, and everything to work as desired and expected. The thing is, from God’s perspective WE don’t work as desired! (At least, given His omniscience, nothing is unexpected for Him.) This is simply an intense lesson in getting my priorities straight. I need to be grateful for the abundance He has poured out on me and seek His wisdom for dealing with each issue, not pouting like a spoiled brat. I look down on others for their “entitled” behavior, not recognizing it in myself. I really do have plenty to repent of.

Father, thank You for this lesson. I see that it touches my pride, when I thought I had made such progress in that area! Keep growing me in the humility You know I need, so that in gratitude I may rejoice in the abundance of Your grace toward me. Thank You. Praise God!

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About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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