Simon, Simon, pay attention! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not cease. When you have turned back, stabilize your brothers. Luke 22:31-32
“Two steps forward, one step back,” is fine, as far as it goes. But we must also remember the shampoo bottle’s instructions: “Apply, lather, rinse, repeat.” Why? Because the process of successfully negotiating the trials of faith incorporates the truths of both aphorisms. Jesus indicated that even the leader of the apostolic band would stumble, but he also assured Peter that momentary failure would not be catastrophic. A step back did not mean he’d ended his journey. While he faltered in the face of the hurricane winds of the Adversary’s assaults, he merely lost some chaff from around the kernel of his faith. His next step would not only be forward, it would be more stable, more confident in the grace of God. In fact, his renewed faith would be so strong he would be able to help stabilize the other apostles, who were facing the same storms in their lives. The same is true for us. Whether we are walking in Peter’s shoes or the shoes of the other disciples, someone will be there to pick us up, dust us off, and help us get back on track: whether it’s Jesus directly, or someone he’s assisted. We can be confident our momentary failures will not be catastrophic, that our faith will not cease.
Thank you, Jesus, for your prayers and for your people. May your patience with my frailty be powerful for my future.