And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18 (ESV)
Peter was still in the midst of a radical transition when Jesus told him that he was going to play an incredibly large part in the church that was going to be established. Here was a former fisherman who turned into a disciple who was then being told that he was going to become a church leader. His journey was remarkable to say the least.
He had begun by following God, and he grew in his faith by learning to trust God even when it might not have made a lot of sense. Now, Jesus was revealing to him were this path was taking him. Up until this point, he was unsure of what the end result would be. He knew that he was following Jesus because Jesus had the words of life. He knew that he was going to become a fisher of men, but it does not seem like he fully grasped the implications of what that would mean.
Our transitions might be similar. We might have to operate in mystery for a little while. We trust that we are following God, and we do our best to seek His will, but we might not know anything beyond the present. There might not be an end target necessarily in sight.
However, there is a time when those things change. As Jesus spoke to Peter about what his purpose was, God can also do the same with us. We might not immediately know where we are going, but God leads us where He wants us, and He points us towards opportunities that we might never have found otherwise.
I know that in my life, I would never have imagined that I would be pursuing a degree in apologetics right now. I fully expected to be finishing up my MBA at this point in my life, but that was not where it seemed like God was calling me to pursue my studies. I still have no idea what the end of getting this particular degree is. Will it be for my personal enrichment? Will it be for a career change? Will it be for another degree?
I really don’t know, but I do know that God will be there to guide me. This applies to all of us. Just because we can’t see the end of the journey right now does not mean that the end does not exist. We are where we are for a purpose, and God will use that. Similarly, we might be moved to somewhere else, but we can’t forget that there is also a purpose for that. It is so easy to worry during these transitions, but as Peter did, we need to follow and trust God until we find out where He is ultimately going to be bringing us.
Do you feel like you are in the middle of the transition? How are you going to make sure that you continue relying on God to make it through this process?
Dear God, we might not know where You are leading us, but we know that You are in control of the universe, and You have a purpose for our lives. Please help us to abide with You and follow Your lead as we find out what You have planned for us. Amen.
Painting: Duccio, di Buoninsegna, d. 1319. Christ Calling the Apostles Peter and Andrew, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=49261 [retrieved October 18, 2014]. Original source: www.yorckproject.de.