"No! Stay your weapons. This is Peter's battle."

2016 has begun to sprint ahead of us like every year seems to do. It has left no room for us to try and catch up; it’s not waiting for anyone who is lagging behind. Rather, day rolls into night and into day again whether we’re ready for it or not.

 

Often rather frustratingly, life doesn’t seem to wait for us to get back on our feet before we’re forced to get up and face a day we’re not prepared for. Most things don’t come to a crashing halt when we do. So, how do we keep going during those moments? How do we muster the strength to continue to fight?

 

“You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.” (Psalm 139:5)

 

This beautiful verse speaks of that security we have in the Lord, even when it seems otherwise. His everlasting arms are upholding us. He has trodden the beaten path we now tread. Unexpected attacks on us don’t take Him by surprise. Some might ask why He then allows things like this to happen.

 

Yesterday, I was watching The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe with my church youth group and one of the scenes really stood out to me in a way it hadn’t before. Peter is faced with his first battle. Two wolves are attacking his sisters, who sound for help. Peter comes running to them with his sword drawn.  Aslan and his troops are close behind and, of course, could kill the wolves in an instant. But just as one of his army is ready to attack, Aslan says something quite profound.

 

"No! Stay your weapons. This is Peter's battle."

 

Aslan (who is a portrayal of Jesus) is still there on the sideline along with a great army. But there was something about this particular battle which meant that Peter was to fight it on his own. Often, in our own personal battles, we can feel a certain frustration at the lack of God’s intervention. But we must remember that nothing we fight is a shock to Him. He’s always there- He just sometimes chooses a ringside seat rather than the front line. He doesn’t do this because He wants to see us suffer, but rather because He wants to teach us and stretch us, which will inevitably grow us...

"Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." (Romans 5:3-5)

 

 In C.S Lewis’ book, The Chronicles of Narnia, which the film was created from, we get a glimpse into the thoughts of Peter as he faces his battle…

 

“Peter did not feel very brave; indeed, he felt he was going to be sick. But that made no difference to what he had to do.”

 

We, like Peter, might not always (or ever) feel very brave in the face of adversity. But that doesn’t mean we won’t have our own battles to fight. Let us remember, though, that Jesus has gone before us and that even when He doesn’t seem very present, He is always, always there. His apparent silence is never absence.

Mark JohnesComment