Summary: Security does not come from the things of the world but instead it comes from faith in God.
In the passage Jesus is being arrested and Peter in anger and defense of Jesus draws his sword and hacks off one of the soldier’s ears. Peter was doing everything in his power to protect the person he loved. He was protecting Jesus, he was protecting his way of life, and he was securing everything he valued. There was only one problem, Peter didn’t understand that it wasn’t his job to protect Jesus, it wasn’t his job to protect himself, it wasn’t his job to protect his way of life.
As the Olympics approached this week one story kept taking away from the actual Olympics. In an age of global terrorism the stories seemed to focus more on the security measures that have been put in place for the Olympics this year. I have seen numerous stories about the readiness and the security measures that have been put in place in Athens for the two-week event.
In our nation we have become focused on protecting ourselves from that which we cannot control. Our cars have more safety features than you can count, every year there is more and more safety equipment, safety guidelines, or procedures that we should learn and follow all designed to protect us from the unknown, and from the unexpected.
In our government the politicians are in a race to see who can make the country more secure, who can close the holes the best, who can protect us from the unexpected, and the unknown. Security has become a national past time, lawyers make millions every year because people were not adequately secured from the unexpected and from the unknown. Every thing has a warning label all to help us live more secure lives.
And slowly it began to dawn on me, that while all of these measures have their place, we each in our own lives are looking for some measure of security, some measure of protection from the unexpected and the unknown. Some of us rely on bank accounts, some of us on family, some of us on ourselves, and some of us don’t know what to rely on.
As I read the passage about Peter I couldn’t help but think about how misguided he was, and how impulsive he seemed and how much like us he really is.
In our lives we so often strive to provide our own security, just like Peter we take the protection into our own hands. We have many fears that encircle us on a daily basis, how will I provide for my family, how can I protect them, how do I make the right choices? Our lives are spent trying to resolve those fears and give comfort to ourselves and to our families. And, so we constantly push to pad ourselves from danger, and like a squirrel we use all of our resources to insulate us from unknown times. This is all well and good, until it comes to the point when we find that we are trusting only in ourselves and we are no longer trusting in God to provide for us. Yes, we are to work, yes we are to provide, but we are to continually remember that truly we are not the ones providing. For in all of our work at best we can only manage to put up a thin screen between us and the rest of the world.
As I watched the affects of hurricane Charley this last week I couldn’t help but notice in the pictures what unbelievable destruction there was. Homes ripped apart by the winds, roofs peeled off, trailers that looked like bombs had been placed within them. As I watched the pictures and was amazed at the devastation, I began to see something. Amongst all the destroyed homes one would sit untouched, amongst the exploded trailers one would sit unscathed. Sometimes our preparation and security measures are spent in the wrong place, just like the measures taken in St. Petersburg all of those people were evacuated and all the plans were made to prepare for a storm that never came to them.
Using our God given common sense is a good thing and we should use it to help us deal with uncertainty, but this only serves to prove that with all of our efforts and with all of our preparation, sometimes the storm changes course. Sometimes the storm doesn’t hit where we thought it would, and so it hits us in a place we weren’t expecting. It is only then that we begin to realize that with all of our preparations we cannot protect ourselves. We are but a ship on the seas, being tossed about, we struggle continually to keep the ship afloat and all that we hold dear safe from harm, but the control is not in our hands.