Have you ever met someone who allows impulsivity the space tact should occupy?
Of Jesus’ 12 friends, one is quoted far more than any other, fitting this profile perfectly. (I bet you guessed correctly.)
Peter was an overburdened soul with a mission. His love was genuine, yet he often floundered in attempts to show it. His words and actions frequently showcased bewilderment, misunderstanding, fear, pride and anguish.
It’s as if he lived at 2x speed.
Often a symptom of deeper soul agitation, this hustle harder existence can’t always be blamed on temperamental tendency, because we’re all capable of life at hurry-up speed.
Here’s a sample of “The Rock’s” 2x speed of life:
Peter…began to reprimand Him for saying such things. “Heaven forbid, Lord…This will never happen to you!” Jesus…said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.” Matt.16: 22-23
Peter exclaimed, “Lord, it’s wonderful for us to be here!…I’ll make three shelters as memorials—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” Matt.17:4
Then Peter said to Him, “We’ve given up everything to follow you. What will we get?” Matt.19:27
Peter declared, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you.” Matt. 26:33
“No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!” John 13:8
Peter swore, “A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know the Man!” Matt.26:74
And these are only a few examples! But my goal isn’t to analyze Peter, just identify with his overburdened soul.
When Jesus’ trajectory was misunderstood, Peter often attempted to steer circumstances in the desired direction—his.
Resulting in soul unrest, managing the methods Jesus employed in saving the world was his answer.
The overburdened soul rarely sits still when detours threaten a perfectly planned destiny.
For Peter, exerting control would secure his future beside a revolutionary, conquering King, not a suffering Servant.
For us today, control creates the illusion of confidence and success.
Convincing everyone our way is best leaves us exhausted. Nevertheless, we hustle even harder with our Plan Bs and Cs, yet convert few believers.
In hurried attempts to manage people and control circumstances, we struggle—
- Climbing the corporate or social ladder
- Curating perfect-looking lives
- Crafting more likes
- Managing people’s impressions
- Keeping up with the Joneses—a 1920’s idiom on 21st Century steroids
Convinced our plans are better than waiting on Jesus, we perpetuate stress and overwhelm.
Our perception of control is just that—perceived.
Thus, our soul wanes under the pressure of strategies, management, pretending—people-pleasing.
If you’re getting beaten down by your process, you’ve got a bad system. Greg McKeown
Jesus identified Peter’s soul problem in one reply:
“You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”
Although he didn’t understand immediately, Peter learned to leverage resources and engage in a counter-intuitive way—God’s.
God’s resources can lead us to:
- Less hurry, more rest
- Less words, more listening
- Less scrolling, more connection
- Less worry, more wonder
- Less agenda, more fun
- Less telling, more praying
- Less ruminating, more preaching to our soul
The result? More Jesus = More freedom. More joy. More peace.
When Peter floundered, Jesus didn’t condemn—He bled grace.
Did He teach, lead, even correct Peter? Yes! But never without hope and always in love.
Peter desperately desired to please Jesus. But what he didn’t understand until the cross—Jesus was already perfectly pleased the day He yelled from the shore, “Follow me!”
Let’s review last week’s questions for the overburdened soul:
- Does overwhelm regularly rob your peace?
- Is there little space in your days for unexpected circumstances?
- Do you find yourself angry often?
- Are you short with those you love most?
- Is time with Jesus first to go when the to-do list lengthens?
- Are you often tired?
- Do you feel rushed, frazzled by most day’s end?
- When asked how you are, is “busy” your response?
- Does FOMO result in too many yeses?
- “Sabbath? Ain’t nobody got time for that!”
After reflection, how is your soul? Can you take some time this week to evaluate your motives, methods and systems? Does the desire to control, control you? Is it time to:
Like Peter, Jesus is already crazy about you; His plans require relinquishing, then listening, but who better to lay your overburdened soul before then the good, beautiful and gentle King, Jesus?
Let my soul be at rest again, for the LORD has been good to me. Psalm 116:7
Meet me here next week to discover more actionable steps towards ultimate soul-care!