“Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. Then Jesus said unto Peter, “Put up thy sword into the sheath; the cup which My Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?” John 18:10-11
We sometimes take a degree of pride in rescuing our friends and family from going through difficult times. However, there are times when we have to let our loved ones go through their own personal trials. It offers the opportunity for them to learn their own lessons, in their own time so they can become the person God wants them to become. If we continuously step in, how and when will they be able to learn the lesson God has planned for them to learn? Understandably, it is the lesson that teaches us strength. It is the lesson of failure that strengthens our resolve and builds the character necessary to produce success. Think of a toddler learning to walk. Walking is an essential lesson we really cannot teach our child; he or she must go through the process of wobbling and hitting the ground until, miraculously, the child is able to take more than one small step. Through the process of elimination, the more wobbling and falling occurs, the better a walker the child will become. If we attempt to teach our child to walk too early, we stress their young legs, and, he or she will become bow-legged. This will lead to other complications and can affect their stance for the rest of their lives.
If toddlers never attempt to walk on their own, they will not build the muscle strength necessary to sustain their legs and body weight. If they do not decide to push through the process of learning to walk, they will not walk. Obviously, this will also affect the rest of their lives. Walking is a miraculous process that has been scheduled precisely for each child at the time God believes they are ready. It simply just happens as part of their personal developmental clock.
As children, learning to walk becomes a metaphor for the ups and downs of life, teaching us how to get back up, even after we have hit the ground more than once. The process of getting up and falling down again, literally teaches us how to rise after a fall. Sometimes we cried, and other times, we simply got up and tried again.
After a toddler learns the art of standing, falling, getting up, and walking; they must also learn to maneuver around all the obstacles in their path. If not, walking through their environment will be a very painful process. The act of maneuvering through an obstacle course within their environment, teaches them how to eliminate errors in judgment, correcting their miscalculations and judgment errors towards a more excellent path. If this all occurs according to God’s perfect plan, the child can use those chubby little legs to outrun even the most agile adult. -And, we will find ourselves chasing and wondering how a toddler who just figured out how to use those chubby little legs a few weeks ago, learned so quickly how to use them to get away from us.
How do we know when we should let our loved ones go through their life-lessons on their own? When the lesson God is trying to teach them continuously appears in their life. And, although it takes on different forms, if we really look at it closely, it is the same old lesson. Like toddlers learning to walk, there are some lessons they simply must learn on their own. It is the same for us. There are times when we need to allow our loved ones to go through their own issues, to learn their lessons, so they can move on. Like a more experienced parent, we enable them to correct their judgment errors, so they can build an unobstructed path back to God.
In today’s verse, the Apostle Peter truly wanted to help Jesus when he pulled his sword, cutting off the ear of Malchus, the high priest’s servant. He thought he was protecting Jesus, defending His honor, not understanding that he was inadvertently trying to prevent the specific course of events that would change mankind forever. Thankfully, Jesus knew He had a destiny to fulfill, and no amount of help from anyone else was going to alter the course of His destiny. -So today, for a change, let go, and let God handle it. L.
Study Reference: John 18:10-11, Philippians 4:12-13
From: "Aiding & Abetting." In The Master's Hands: 365 Daily Devotions For Everyday Living.
Copyright © 2014 by Lavona E. Campbell
photo: Pete Conolly