You know that moment when your friend calls you because they got tickets to go see your favorite band? Or maybe that moment when you feel like you are beside yourself with happiness at the thoughtful gift your friend spent a lot of time making for you. Whatever it is–it’s that feeling of pure excitement and gratitude you have for that friend in that moment. I am not stretching the truth one bit when I tell you that’s how I feel about my guest post today. Marisa is a writer that I just absolutely love. She is raw, honest, and encouraging all at once. If there was ever someone who made you feel like you are not alone and welcome to a place of grace, Marisa would be waving you in at the front door. I am just beyond thrilled she is writing here today and hope you find encouragement from her words today.
Who Do You Say I Am?
Foot-in-mouth, rough-around-the-edges, fly-off-the-handle, uneducated, doesn’t-get-it-the-first-go-round disciple.
I’d shake my head at his antics, but, a rueful chuckle would only follow.
Because He is all too me! Fumbles and stumbles galore.
Yet, it was he that knew without an ounce of hesitation how to answer in Matthew 16.
When Christ asked, “Who do you say I am?”, Peter back before he was officially Peter replies forthrightly, “You are the Messiah, son of the Living God.”
For such assured words to come from the one known for off-the-cuff oopses and brashness has always tickled me.
Another confound-the-wise-by-revealing-truth-to-little-children moment.
For, essentially, that’s what Simon Peter was- a big oaf of a child, gamboling after the Savior, little possessed of worldly knowledge or grander social graces, but ever guzzling down what Jesus was teaching.
He may not have always gotten it right. In fact, at times, he was downright clueless.
But, because he had a sense of Who he was running with, he kept after it.
And how did Jesus respond?
He pronounced him blessed, christened him Peter, the rock, one over whom the gates of hell would not prevail.
In Peter declaring who Christ was, Christ could declare who Peter was.
And, so it is for us.
Who we say He is reveals who we are and are to be-in Him.
By the same token, who we say we are directly reflects who we say He is.
If Peter had scoffed and said, “Who, me?”, returning to his nets with a disbelieving shrug, what he and the world would have missed!
And, what all do we miss when we say we are too much a nobody to be used by God?
Well, I’ll tell you, because I know far too well.
Joy. Peace. Life and life more abundantly.
Forfeited in a sea of self-doubt. Never salvation, mind you. Grace is certainly not so cheap. But that blossomy sensation we ought to relish in as His own?
Harder to hold in those billowing waves when we forget the simplicity of it all: greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world.
We’re a royal priesthood to be filled with His glory. Not to be puffed up and awesome in our own right. Oh, no. It’s all about Who is in us.
My grip’s been lost on this truth all too easily countless times.
To realize I am unwittingly calling my Messiah’s arm too short to lift my brokenness?
A mistake that makes a body cringe.
Just ask Peter after that fateful rooster crow. He’d forgotten who Christ was, who he was in Him.
And to find my self-deprecating tendencies in that realm of fallenness?
Wow. Total mindblower. Really. Like walking out the door and realizing you skipped the deodorant.
Something quite stinky catching you by surprise.
I mean, I know I knew this.
Yet, people would quote me “God don’t make no junk.” all the live long day and I’d say, ” Yep. I know.” And still secretly roll my eyes and wince at the hokiness and poor grammar and go on my way unaffected.
But, till just recently, I don’t know that I really, really realized the level it matters on.
So…to own up to my poor self-esteem as poor God-esteem?
Takes a lot of swallows and throat-clearings to gather the courage to put voice to it all.
To see perhaps a bit of personal responsibility and yet not let it backfire into more berating of self?
Well, it’s hard to grapple with this unfamiliar feeling of worth, honestly, but I know it is worth the work to try.
So, the burning question is…
Am I there?
All done taking internal potshots at my abilities?
Finished feeling my Eeyore roots, my Charlie Brown melancholy?
Well…I’d looove to say ‘yes’ but…
Aspiring is perhaps a better way to put it.
Especially grateful in light of this new title of ‘published author’ to my name. But, no, not completely there!A lifetime of learned behavior does not go in one whack. And even articles and a soon-to-be book do not assurance make.
Only He can do that, really.
But, I am gaining, shaking out a new petal here, a new leaf there with a sense of celebration and wonder.
Seeking, as Peter sought. Stumbling sometimes, but running beside Him, like a leaping child ready to explore and confound a few wiseguys.
Knowing without a doubt who I say He is- and what that ought to say about who I am and what He wants me to be in Him.
Marisa Ulrich is a mom of four, two autistic, all awesome. She is in a blessed second marriage to the handyman of her dreams. They make their home in rural Kansas in a great hundred year old fixer upper. You can find her ongoing thoughts on Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/