When my husband and I were dating, he was always one step ahead of me in the falling in love department. I was cautious. Before we started dating, I had not been on a date in two years. So, when this guy started wooing me, I wanted to make sure every “t” was crossed and every “i” doted. Sounds romantic, right? It was a miracle he married me.
We had THE talks. They are like the summit meetings of the dating world. Only necessary once a quarter, or so, they identify the couple. Are you my boyfriend? Is it time to meet the family? Do we spend holidays together? These are springboards to the next step.
There is something intimate and looming about these. Just the words, “I think that we should talk about us”, can break a sweat on one’s brow. I am not sure that ever goes away.
Sometimes these definitions help us. They encourage us to ground ourselves in relationship and recreate boundaries of trust, and even roles. It pays to know that you are loved and not just liked.
Now we have marriage summit meetings which are different from dating summit meetings. If my husband asks me who he is today, some of my responses would be caregiver, provider, spoiler, invested, loving. He was not a caregiver before we were married. It was a process and a comfort to find this out about my husband.
Speaking these qualities out loud is like a relationship marker in time. It shows how far we have come, and it instills courage for progress and “the next thing”, whatever that is.
Now my point…I have been wondering what my “next thing” is with God, lately. But, what questions do you ask? Where will we be in five years? It just doesn’t work that way, in my experience.
This morning when I was reading, He showed me a place where God entrusted a relationship summit with responsibility.
Matthew 16:13-18, NRSV,
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.
The interesting thing about this passage is its beginning. Jesus asks Peter to tell Him who He is. Who is Jesus?
When Peter finished the combined laundry list of scripture and here say, Jesus asked Him again. I have a picture in my mind of His expression when asking this. Peter knew exactly what the question was. Who is Jesus to me? They were having a relationship summit.
Peter’s answer girded this relationship with new understanding. This summit had resulted in the confirmation that Jesus was seeking as Peter unknowingly confessed the revelation of God.
On this day, the life of Simon Peter was never the same. That is the power of marking relationships in time.
This has become a part of my prayer life. I sit and think about who God is to me. I name God according to what He has done in my life. I acknowledge the ways that our relationship has grown and the ways that He has revealed Himself to me. It can look different every morning.
At the summit between Peter and Jesus, Peter was given the keys to the kingdom. There is power in answering this question, “Who is Jesus to you?”
If you haven’t done it lately, I encourage you to make a little time over a snack, a piece of paper and a pencil. Hold your own relationship summit and speak the roles of God in your life. Then, see where He takes you.
What is a name that you give Jesus in your prayer life? Share some with me in the comments section.
Father, thank you for your willingness to reveal yourself to your people. Show us who you are in our lives. Let us be bold and come to these summits with you to move us into your kingdom work.