During my morning devotion, I reflected on something that George MacDonald said in Creation in Christ.
“But I do not know how to awake and arise!”
I will tell you. Get up, and do something the Master tells you; so make yourself his disciple at once. Instead of asking yourself whether you believe or not, ask yourself whether you have this day done one thing because he said, Do it, or once abstained because he said, Do not do it. It is simply absurd to say you believe, or even want to believe in him, if you do not do anything he tells you. If you can think of nothing he ever said as having had an atom of influence on your doing or not doing, you have too good ground to consider yourself no disciple of his.
But you can begin at once to be a disciple of the Living One–by obeying him in the first thing you can think of in which you are not obeying him. We must learn to obey him in everything, and so must begin somewhere. Let it be at once, and in the very next thing that lies at the door of our conscience! Oh fools and slow of heart, if you think of nothing but Christ, and do not set yourselves to do his words! You but build your house on the sand.
The pointedness of this Scottish preacher from the 1800’s caused me to stop and wonder. What do I hear the Lord saying, both in his Word and in the quietness of my soul, that I continually struggle to obey? For me, the answer is simple: Do not worry! I’m a worrier by nature. My personality type is fertile soil for worrying to take root. I’m the type of person who likes to be in control and when things are beyond my control I worry about them. I find that I’m a lot like Peter, the disciple that listened to everything Jesus said and then worried about it and put his foot in his mouth all the time.
I’m just like Peter…the younger Peter that is. The older Peter, the one who had walked many more miles in the footsteps of his master, is the one who tells us to “cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” In that statement lies the key. Saying to yourself all day long, Do not worry, is probably not going to do a bit of good. In fact, it will probably only lead to worry over worrying. The key is in the statement, “because he cares for you.” That is the phrase I should be saying to myself all day long!
Watch how this works. If I dwell all day long on the simple command, “Do not worry,” then I will continually be dwelling on the subject of “worrying,” but if dwell all day long on the truth, “he cares for you,” then I will be dwelling on the subject of “the Father’s love for me.”
I believe that when Peter was only a few years into his journey of following Jesus, he spent a lot of time wondering whether or not Jesus knew what he was actually talking about. Peter spent his days confused and worrying about Jesus’ plan. After the resurrection and Pentecost, all doubts were erased; Jesus’ plan had worked. Peter had a newfound trust in the words of Jesus.
If Jesus said do not worry, then Peter did not have to worry. If Jesus promised that the Father cared for him, then the Father cared for him. The Peter we meet thirty years after the death of Jesus is not the same questioning, confused, and doubting Peter of his earlier years. He is still a man filled with imperfection, but he is a man who has walked further in the footsteps of his Master, now clinging to every word.
As I am on this journey, I see the footprints of Jesus in front of me. I also see the imprint of Peter’s steps, pressed into the footprints of Jesus. I listen to the words of Jesus, “Do not worry,” and I listen to the words of Peter, “because he cares for you, ” and I find the courage and strength to let go of my worrying and keep walking ahead.
First appeared in Mark Moore’s personal blog on January 19, 2010.