I was chatting with some friends and they shared with me a funny story about their cat. For quite some time they had been feeding their cat a little bit of milk each morning. From all appearances, this was the highlight of the cat’s day. He would hear one of them rustling around in the kitchen and would immediately come down and patiently wait for them to pour him a little bowl of milk. Once poured, he would devour the milk completely. Unfortunately, over a period of time, the cat developed some sort of intolerance for the milk, which would result in some sort of mess, if you know what I mean. This led to the decision to no longer give the cat milk. However, for many days after, each morning the cat would come down and wait patiently for the milk. Yes, the cat was being patient and sitting quietly, but what he didn’t realize was that he was waiting for the wrong thing.
“but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.” Luke 22:32-34
Looking at this passage, one might tend to overlook Peter’s resolve. We often get so focused on the prediction of Peter’s betrayal that we miss the first part of the verse. I do believe that Peter was completely willing to go to prison and die for Jesus; however, Peter had a very clear picture of how it was going to go down. We know this, based on his actions later in the story. You find in John 18 that it was Peter who drew the sword and cut off the ear of the servant of the high priest. Peter was willing to die with Jesus, but not by surrendering. Peter wanted to go down in a blaze of glory in a sword fight. We see that Peter was waiting patiently, but was waiting for the wrong thing. And since it didn’t go down like he thought it would, he ended up doubting who Jesus was, and ultimately denying Him.
So often we miss the blessings of God, the message of God, or the wisdom of God because we have already mapped out in our minds what it is supposed to look like. When we miss it, we think that God “didn’t show up” and the doubts start to creep in. For instance, we pray that we need a better job, but in reality the job you have was a blessing from God and He is using it to make you better. Or we are convinced that if others change, that will be an answer to prayer, when in actuality, God wants to change us. My encouragement to you is to not limit God by pre-determining what His blessings should look like. Have an open hand and an open heart knowing that what God will do is far better than we can imagine and we won’t doubt God’s goodness and work in our lives.