Isn’t it kind of funny that when the Lord gives us a glimpse and sometimes a warning of what’s going to be taking place on the road ahead, all we remember is the part about the trial but not the outcome He promises?
20 years or so ago, I was in a situation where I was overseeing and putting together a women’s retreat. I was so excited about it but hit a lot of obstacles two weeks before the event. The 2nd day into the retreat, I was attacked by one of my best friends for not doing what she wanted me to do.
We had all agreed to allow the Holy Spirit to work and not to be so scheduled that we would miss opportunities. The first night and second morning we didn’t do what she wanted to do because women were up at the altar and there were a lot of them and she was angry with me.
The first night I had gathered in a room with my former pastor’s wife, speaker, and prayer intercessor that she had brought with her to pray. As they were praying for me, my former Pastor’s wife said, “Diane, an ancient nation is going to rise up against you. You need to stay strong.” They prayed for me and I can’t for the life of me tell you what they prayed. I just heard trouble was coming and it was going to be rough.
The very next day my former best friend, another friend and a group of 12 ladies literally rose up against me. When the retreat was over, I was dealing with so much stress and so much pain from the betrayal that I just told the Lord I was done with the women, the women’s ministry, church and finally Him.
All I was paying attention to was the forwarning and the trial coming, forgetting that the Lord was going to bring me through it. Honestly telling Him I was done with Him only lasted 3 seconds because He ever so gently and lovingly said, “Where will you go?” I realized my stupidity and said, ‘Nowhere Lord. There is nowhere else for me to go except to you.”
I put on my big girl panties and decided to stay strong and God began showing me more outcome. He was asking me to love Him and trust him and I told Him whatever I needed to learn from this, I would be His willing student. And I have had to tell Him that many times since. It’s a pretty amazing story and long so maybe I’ll share it again another time. It was one of those places in my life that I built an altar of remembrance to and have never forgotten.
We read in Luke 22: 31-34 about Peter being warned he was going to be sifted and would deny Jesus three times and that a rooster would crow after the third time. But Jesus was praying for him and that he would return and he was to strengthen his brothers. So when it actually happens how does Peter respond?
Luke 22: 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.”
Peter was heartbroken and all he could see is what he had done wrong. Peter ran away and wept bitterly after that. He was only seeing the trial and not remembering that the Lord said, “When you return…” and that He had prayed for him and that He was going to use him to strengthen his brothers. He showed him what was to come and then what would happen afterward.
Ok, I’m not hardhearted at all but I actually kind of chuckled at that and said. “Yup, we all have a little Peter in us.”
Peter did recover and went on to do great things for God and so many people were saved through his ministry. I was listening to Graham Cooke talking about how we need to listen to the whole message when we have an encounter with the Lord, not just the beginning. There is a beginning and there is an end and we need to remember to not get stuck in the middle.
Day four of fasting was a bit rough physically. My stomach was not happy. But our prayer service was amazing! I made it through and am ready to see what day five has for me. Blessings!