Jesus has appeared at least twice to His disciples. He has made sure through several messages that Peter was to be include at those times. But Peter, now humbled, big fisherman is still struggling under the weight of his denial of Jesus before the crucifixion. He had run to be alone with his broken heart. Great, convulsing sobs went through his body, mind and soul. He had known that Jesus was the Christ, the promised Messiah. Peter had boldly promised to die with Jesus if necessary. But when the moment of trudge comes, the brave Peter crumbled and disappeared on the breeze to nothing. Once again, as in the garden, the spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak.
Even though Pete was specifically called to be present by Jesus, the lord had not specifically done anything we know of, at this point, to reaffirm Peter other than to ask him to be there. As the days came and went, Peter's discouragement returns. "How could Jesus ever trust me again? I've blown it. H e's done with me." Most have felt that heart break at one time or another. I'm sure that Peter felt, just as we have at times, that we were incapable of…whatever…Jesus means more to us than anything else. In fact, He still does mean every thing to us, no matter what takes place. The Lord reaches out to us and assure us that, no matter what happens, we are still His children and friends. We will always be useful to the Master. The assurance of knowing we are loved much, give us the confidence in the relationship to rest in it. It give us strength to try again. (Psalm 32:1, 2, Like 7:47) But Peter is not there yet. Thomas, who firmly rebid the disciples for their foolishness, has been restored by Jesus. Peter has been called, but there has been no indication yet that he showed up.
Peter decides that it's time to move on, before God's timing. He gathers those who will go with him, and heads off to reestablish his fishing business. he had invested much, leaving family and business behind. His heart is good. But he has ben given a glimpse over the edge into the pit of his old nature. When the time had come to deny himself and take up his cross, he had protected himself. The fear of punishment, the fear f the unknown h ad slid down and buried his desire to serve.
Peter's desire was to stay and serve. When that didn't seem to be possible, he settled for second best. There would be many questions and thoughts of what might have been. Peter's pride was being ground to powder. Jesus had done nothing to stop Peter from going. Surely, as God, He had known Peter had meant to leave. We know that Jesus was not done dealing with Peter's proud heart. If you have ever been there, you know it's a humbling frustrating, lonely moment. God uses these moments like grinding stones to crush out the thing that He wants to remove from us.
True and faithful are wounds of a friend who tells us or shows us that we know is true but would rather not hear or see. This is where the dross rises to the top of the vessel heated by the flame of that tough love. Once on top, it can be scooped awey leaving the remaining silver that is much more pure and more useful to the Silversmith. The goal is for Jesus to see His face clearly reflected int he surface of the silver of our lives in the flames of the vessel of trials. When it happens, the lives of the people around us will be rocked and changed.