Where you do not wish to go ...

Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” ... When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!” -John 21:18,21-22 NRSV

I love how fearlessly Peter is when he speaks to Jesus. He seems to verbalize the kind of questions that I often ask. It is hard to understand why "bad" things happen to some and not others. Peter would be crucified and John live to an old age. Each were followers and friends of the Lord. Yet each walked a different path as they followed God in their lives.

The phrase "take you where you do not wish to go" is so tough yet so true. It reminds me about how little control we have over the big things in our lives. Cancer hits the healthiest of us. Kids can break our hearts. Accidents happen. These things have the power to instruct us and teach us to trust the Lord for both the present and the future.

You are trustworthy Lord. I commit myself and my future into your loving arms. With your help, I will follow you.

... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on the Gospel of John.


  1. This dialogue between our Lord and Peter caught my attention because of Peter's earlier denials. Peter's answers gave him a chance to vindicate himself. Then when Christ began foretelling Peter's death by saying"stretching out of hands", it became clear to me that Peter wanted to follow the Lord in this way of dying. ... Correct me if I am wrong, but was John the only apostle who lived to be quite elderly, and died naturally? unlike the others?


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