“I tell you, Peter,” He said, “the rooster will not crow today until you deny three times that You know Me” (Luke 22:34).
The words must have hung in the air for a moment, pointed and powerful. The disciples had just been arguing, to the last man, about who was to be the greatest in Jesus’ kingdom, and with Peter no doubt in the middle of the fray, Jesus’ words cut to the heart.
For Peter, the suggestion at that moment was laughable:
“Lord,” he told Him, “I’m ready to go with You both to prison and to death!”
Peter suffered from the same delusion that plagues us all from time to time – that we are above it all. That we are above such an outright and blatant example of sin. That we are above succumbing. That our faith, and our will, is strong. But Jesus knows better.
Peter was oblivious to the fact that he was embarking on what was to be no doubt one of the worst, if not the worst, day of his life. How many times in the years after would he look back on Jesus’ words and wonder how he could have been so arrogant? How many times would he replay the moment by the fire when all his will gave way underneath the weight of a little girl’s questioning? How many times would he remember the bitter tears he wept as Jesus was led away to His death in the shadow of His friend’s blatant denial?
But how could he have known? In that moment, Peter felt strong. He felt confident. He was, in his own mind, invincible.
But Jesus knew better. He still knows better.
Every morning we wake up and for the most part are completely oblivious to what the day holds. Rarely do we think about the fact that in only minutes or hours our world could change with a single word:
Those are the kinds of things that await. And we, like Peter, are gloriously confident in our own faith and will. We are, in our minds, invincible to the lure of sin and the brokenness of the world. But we, like Peter, can take heart in the fact that while we don’t know what the day holds, Jesus does. And, amazingly, He’s been up long before we swing our legs out of bed… praying for us:
“Simon, Simon, look out! Satan has asked to sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And you, when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:31).
Let that sink in for a moment. Feel the weight of the grace. On the worst day of his life, when Peter had no idea how far he was about to fall, Jesus had been praying for him.
When we woke up some 5 years ago on a morning in October, my wife and I had no idea that we would end the day sleeping in Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. We had no clue that our world was to be flip-flopped. We had no idea that the cancer inside our 2-year-old’s body was about to be discovered.
We didn’t know. We were blissfully ignorant. But thankfully, Jesus was not. He knew. And He was praying for us.
Take heart, Christian, not because you know what to expect from life today. You most certainly do not. But Jesus does. And if today is indeed the worst day of your life, know that Jesus has been praying for you.