Peter messed up. Not in private. In public. In front of God and everyone.
Sinking when he took his eyes off of Jesus.
Cutting off an ear that Jesus promptly replaced.
Promising to stick with Jesus and then denying Him – not once, not twice, but three times.
And goodness gracious do I ever feel like I get Peter. In my desire to live for Jesus, I feel like I’m constantly tripping up and getting out of sync with Him. Running ahead with misplaced zeal. Lagging behind from paralyzing fear. Ending up feeling sure that Jesus must be just about done with me because when am I ever going to get this living all out for Him thing right?
But Jesus does the same thing for me that He did for Peter. He invites me to sit with Him. To listen to Him. To give Him permission to lovingly redirect me. He helps me fix my eyes back on Him and Him alone.
And I keep thinking this morning about how Peter could have stopped. He could have given up. Embarrassed. Frustrated. His pride wounded. His faith shaken. But he didn’t. He humbly received both Jesus’ correction and His love.
And Jesus. He could have ripped all chances of ministry right out of Peter’s hands. Peter had certainly stumbled enough. But Jesus didn’t. He knew full well when He chose Peter how utterly and completely human he was. He knew how many times Peter would make a bit of a mess. But I believe He also saw how teachable Peter would be. How resilient. How willing to blow it in front of everyone for the sake of Christ he would be.
Sweet friend, I don’t know how many times you’ve blown it. I don’t know how many times you’ve been sure the Lord asked you to do something and then come to find out you were way off base. But I do want you to know this… that doesn’t mean Jesus is done with you. He fully knew you when He first chose you. Every weakness. Every mistake you would ever make. All of it. And He still said, “I want him. I want her. I choose you to minister love and hope in My name.” He’s not embarrassed by you either. He’s still so glad He chose you. And He’s ever willing to dust you off with His unending grace and then help you keep moving forward with Him.
If you’re feeling a bit out of sync with Him right now, I hope you’ll do what Peter had to do. What I’m continually having to do.
Sit with Jesus.
Let Him course correct you where you need correction. Let Him love on you like no one else possibly can. Let Him recommission you. Let the Holy Spirit fill you afresh and then follow His lead. It’s okay if you’ve embarrassed yourself a thousand times in your zeal. God did mighty things through Peter – a man who pretty much embarrassed himself on the regular. And He can do mighty things through you and through me.
Keep living all out for Him, friend. And remember that we’re all going to stumble along the way.