Hands Outstreched - Bowed Low
A fascinating verse caught my eye today. The Lord (after having been risen from the dead) was speaking to Peter. In John 21:18 Jesus says, "Truly, Truly I say to you when you were younger you walked wherever you wished, but when you grow old you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you and bring you where you do not wish to go!" Jesus was telling Peter He would die on a cross.
I thought to myself long about this; how Peter must have felt at that moment. For me, it would have been daunting. Yet, in my mind, I pondered youth, energy, ability, a bit of recklessness, and also a time like Peter where I denied Christ! Yet this image of stretched out hands represented such surrender to me. The idea of being ‘taken’ where I do not wish to go, yet not using my hands to fight it!
Prior to this Peter was warming his hands by the fire (rather comfortable, but not really). At that moment he remained in charge to a degree. But the Lord was going to mature Peter and ultimately his take-charge attitude would be transformed into a surrendered one with hands outstretched hanging on his cross as a martyr.
I read that Peter requested to be head down on the cross; realizing he was not worthy to be crucified in the same manner as the King of Kings. Head down; what a picture of a head bowed low before God! I have tears as I write this. The imagery is beyond. God takes a wild bull, full of energy and capability and stamina (just like me) and transforms him to such a degree that God can take him where he does not wish to go. A place of such a transformative stand that he willingly dies for Christ. There are just no words to express the capacity God has to transform and change us. But lest I forget that the same capacity to change me is also the SAME capacity to change another. Let me never box someone in to simply what I see but let me see further into the future and embrace deeply what God can do and have confidence that He will!