“Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” ~1 Peter 1:13
The barn claimed our attention, as Papa attacked the stored lumber with a vengeance, throwing boards down from the rafters which he deemed “old” or “decrepit.” Discrimination at its finest. “We need to saw them up for firewood,” his voice drifted down from ten feet in the air. Dutifully, I trudged off for “my” pathetic corded girl-size chainsaw. Salvaged from a broken pole-saw. Plugging it in, I primed the engine and fired it up. It gave two wheezing moans and sank into a deep slumber out of which I was unable to rouse it. “Try the Skil saw,” Papa suggested, as another board clattered into the dust at my feet. The Skil saw made more promising noises, but after chewing through a couple of pieces, I heard Papa’s whistle far above me, in the world outside my hearing protection. I stopped sawing and looked up. He looked pensive, a dimple peeking out from the corner of his white goatee. “Why don’t you pile those up and I’ll knock ‘em off with the chainsaw in no time.”
“That’s because she’s wearing my clothes,” I reminded the family. Only half a joke.
Papa looked over his plate at Lydia, who had discovered how deliciously distracting the potatoes were, their flavor enhanced by too much attention to herself. “It’s true,” he added his opinion. “They make her look sophisticated.”
In retrospect, perhaps it is not I who have arrived at the goal: sophisticated. It could be Lydia. But at least it is because of my clothes.
Jacindarella’s study of First Peter inspired me, and I made a quick read today. This man’s life and legacy stand out to me as a stark contrast in strength and fragility. From a work-man’s standpoint, I see Peter as the strong, brawny, hard-worker. From a religious stand-point, he was unlettered and untrained. He had a Galilean accent. He smelled like fish. But he was humble. Pliable. Passionate. And devoted. Even though his mouth ran ahead of him like a herald, he meekly took rebuke and sought restoration time and again. Once upon a time, he said, “Depart from me for I am a sinful man!” Later he declared, “Where else would we go? You have the words of eternal life.” In this letter, he pleads with believers to keep in mind the precious blood of Christ and live in holiness. Stop and consider how personal were his words, “The precious blood of Christ.” Peter, the fragile stone, who slept while this precious blood dripped from the body of his praying Lord. Who stood beneath the cross of his Beloved Master, agonizing over his denial, as this precious blood dripped away Christ’s life. Who raced to the tomb and found it empty. Who was restored by the never-ending grace of Jesus and charged to “tend my lambs.” I want to take a closer look at it, drawing the parallels between Peter’s admonishions and the lessons Christ taught him.
Yet in this, is God’s gracious gift,
For Satan, fueled by hate for man,
Is still within God’s sovereign plan.
And God, in kindly love and grace
Has granted Satan time and space
To sift the chaff and purify
That man, his God, might glorify.
For when God turns him back from sin
His soul’s a battle God will win.