Sunday, February 13, 2011

1 Peter 5

And now, a word to you who are elders in the churches. I, too, am an elder and a witness to the sufferings of Christ...As a fellow elder, I appeal to you...

Peter is writing to his peer group, he introduces himself as an elder like they are and then appeals to them as a fellow elder.  But, he gives the badge of being a witness to Christ's sufferings as the extra weight to his words.  He didn't say that he was "the Cephas," one of the inner three, "Transfiguration Pete", or that he had even walked on water; Peter self-identified as a witness of Christ's sufferings.  That was clout in his eyes.

Peter was discipling the elders, penning scripture, and yet his trump card was having been a witness to the brutalities his Christ suffered.  I am just...stuck here.  

Why do I not believe that my witness of Christ's sufferings is authority for me?  I know I am not a firsthand witness; but I have scripture, a sanctified imagination and the Holy Spirit confirmation.  Why do I not operate in the same authority amongst my peer group?

Lord, I just don't get it.  Help me to not miss it.  You call us to and promise us sufferings, Your sufferings were the thing that one of Your closest mates called up and it was his memory of Your sufferings that was his warrant for influence.  I usually just skate over the suffering part of Your Word.  I know I don't have much reference for suffering and the gracious way You wired me causes me to be unable to dwell long on anyone experiencing hurt...I drive off the road to not hit a frog...a frog, God.   I don't know how to frame sufferings (plural), except that You endured them and Your believers are promised them.  Forgive me for the spirit of procrastination regarding this integral component of a life of faith.  I confess, I don't want suffering to happen to anyone; but I know enough to not want to pray anyone out of a blessing You have wrapped as hardship or harder...even myself.  God, please help me to not miss this critical aspect of Your design.  I need You to accomplish this work in me and my very meek heart.  And as I am living this life You provided me, let me be known by what I know of You and not what has happened to me. 

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