WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25
“When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place”
John 21:9 ESV
FACING THE TRUTH: WHERE IT WENT WRONG
Everyone knows the highlight of any good camping trip is the campfire. As a man the challenge of starting a good fire and bragging about how big and hot the fire is super important. And then stoking the fire just right to keep it burning is a work of art. But perhaps the grand finale is the roasting of marshmallows. Do you like them burnt or a little brown and crispy with a soft warm center?
When Peter arrived on shore, in John 21:9, Jesus had a “charcoal fire” going. I doubt it was the kind of charcoal we have today that already has lighter fluid built in. The Greek word used for “charcoal” appears only in two places in the entire New Testament, and both of them are related to Peter in the Gospel of John (18:18; 21:9). The first time Peter was trying to blend in with the crowd who were the enemies of Jesus. It formed a setting for Peter’s denial. This second “charcoal” fire was a place for Peter’s restoration.
Part of a spiritual renewal usually involves reflecting on where we went wrong. The purpose of looking back isn’t to beat ourselves up but to learn and grow. So, there is no need to deny or minimize our struggles. Reflecting on our past failures should help us recognize and avoid situations and triggers that may tempt us to compromise our faith and values in the future. Those moments of reflection should also produce a healthy humility that reminds us we are not invincible and must constantly depend on God’s power to keep us strong.
What are some of your “charcoal fires?” What are the things, places, people or situations that expose you to moments of temptation? One tried and true list is called the H.A.L.T. list. These are moments when we are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. Wisdom teaches in those moments we should halt and deal with those issues before we make poor decisions. Ask God to show you ways to avoid and deal with your list of tempting situations.