The third time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ He said, ‘Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Feed my sheep.’ John 21:17
Grace is the remarkable gift we discover in Jesus. Peter, so confident in his faith, stumbled when denying Jesus at his arrest. Now, embarrassed by his betrayal, he returns to fishing, his hopes dashed, his spirit broken. However, the great news is that his friends stuck with him. We live in a time when many are aware of their fragility. Covid-19 reminds us how impotent we are when confronted by a global pandemic.
Our knowledge and sophistication hold no answer for this deadly virus. It’s often new experiences that test our confidence in God. When my wife Katey was diagnosed with progressive MS, a disease that took her life eighteen years later, I fell apart. A Christian leader, platform preacher and evangelist, I had no answers for our situation. A problem solver with a challenge beyond my competence. With no resources from upbringing, education or experience, I imploded and questioned God’s relevance. I behaved in ways that fell short of what this ‘man of God’ had so often preached. I was a mess and my self-esteem collapsed. Like Peter I was ashamed and wanted to hide within the anonymity of normality. Yet like
Peter, God asked me a simple question; ‘do you love me?’ I did. My problem was I couldn’t believe God loved me and I didn’t love myself. But God wasn’t disillusioned with me; he never had any illusions to start with. He knew me, loved me, accepted me and embraced me when I cried out to Him the very first time. Long before I had an opportunity to demonstrate my commitment. The remarkable thing about God’s love is that it never runs dry. I may choose to absent myself from God, but God is always waiting close by ready to renew and restore our friendship.
Something to Consider: Do you feel you have let God down? Are you ready to make up? God is!
An Action to Take: Read John 21 and make notes of what lessons you can take and apply to your own friendship with God.
A Prayer to Make: ‘Lord, You know that I love You. Help to love myself and deepen our friendship.’
Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.
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