LORD, if You considered sins,
Lord, who could stand?
But with You there is forgiveness,
so that You may be revered.
Psalm 130:3-4 (HCSB)
A very disheartened and discouraged Peter slips away from his accusers after seeing Jesus. He knows that he disappointed his Master, which was especially humiliating after boasting in front of everyone that he would never do such a thing. How would anyone ever be able to trust him again, particularly Jesus? Had he ruined all possibility of working with the others to spread the Good News? Should he just go back to fishing? I know the feeling.
God says He hates divorce; I have been there and understand the feelings of regret, sorrow, and resignation that accompany failure. I know I felt that maybe God had nothing more for me to do because of my situation, particularly any ministry for Him. I carried my disgrace like a big D on my forehead. I wanted and accepted His forgiveness but I didn’t understand His grace.
But, Jesus is all about grace. After His resurrection, the angel tells the women who had gone early to the open tomb, “Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.” (Mark 16:7.) Including Peter. He was not forgotten. He was not put on the shelf. He was not an outcast. In fact, he was given special notice to join the other disciples in Galilee. Jesus had work for him to do but Peter realized that he HAD to depend Him if he was going to be of any use. He couldn’t do it on his own.
God not only forgives, He forgets. I struggle with both on occasion, but I’m learning that His grace is enough. I also discovered that He can use all of our experiences if we are willing to trust Him with the good and bad in our lives. Nothing is wasted. Disgrace is reversed through grace. May His glory shine.