I don’t think we could have asked for a better journey these last four years. Almost to the day, four years ago our season as a family here in Texas began as we were welcomed openly and warmly as the newest members of the Woodlands Church staff team. The people of Woodlands Church accepted us and…
We Are the Comeback Kid
We all love a good comeback story.
Whether it be in sports, in a movie, in the pages of history, or life, we are smitten with the notion of someone coming from behind battling and overcoming great odds to achieve some unexpected feat. Something inside of each of us loves seeing the odds defeated.
Why is that?
We identify with the comeback kid. We identify, in some way or another, with the team of “screw ups” who have no shot at a state championship. We identify with the Rocky Balboas. We identify with stories of overcoming adversity.
We are those people. Their stories reflect our own stories.
We all in need of a second chance. We have been told “we can’t”. We have been told that “we will never”. We have seemingly had the deck stacked against us at one point or another. Progression is part of being human. We are a continual work in progress that needs to be reminded that our failures, shortcomings, or circumstances from yesterday are by no means final or an indictment of who we will forever be.
The triumph of others reminds us that we too can be triumphant.
Consider this. When Jesus met Simon in John chapter 1, Simon was an impetuous, impatient, and hot-tempered fisherman that would later slice the ear off a guard. Simon had a past, most likely riddled with impetuous, impatient, and sometimes brazen behavior. Simon was erratic. Simon was surely inconsistent at best.
Yet when Simon comes to Jesus, notice the remarkable moment in verse 42:
“Jesus looked at him and said, ‘You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas’ (which, when translated, is Peter).”
Cephas (Aramaic) and Peter (Greek) both mean “rock”. Jesus looked straight into the eyes of this erratic, inconsistent, hot-headed man, who undoubtedly was acutely aware of his own issues, and called him a “rock” to symbolize solidarity and steadfastness.
Jesus did not define Peter as a sum total of his mistakes, failures, character flaws and the like, but chose to see him as the man he would become.
Peter is a man of second chances. Peter’s story is the comeback story we all identify with. Peter was a man on the journey between who he once was and the man Christ determined him to be.
We too are works in progress that are not seen by Christ as a sum total of our mistakes, bad choices, circumstances, attitudes, hurts, or hangups. He who looked on the impetuous Simon and renamed him “Peter” looks upon each of us with grace, offering us both forgiveness and strength so that we might be set free from ‘what was’ in order to fully become who He has created and has now renamed us to be.