Luke 22:61-62 The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the cock crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
This was a pivotal moment in Peter’s life. Up until this point he had always gotten away with making excuses, but that certainly didn’t cut it here. His pride was demolished in an instant. Unlike Judas, who maintained his desire to be in control to the point of killing himself, Peter just let everything go, and that was what prepared him to be the speaker at Pentecost, the leader who presided over the birth of the Church. Our pride always gets in the way of our being used by God. We can only imagine what was in Jesus’ heart and expression when He looked at Peter, but we can be sure that love was paramount. That said, it wasn’t a weak, permissive love, but one that called Peter to account, to repentance. Thankfully, for Peter and for all believers since, Peter did indeed repent. His failure was so huge that it took a private appearance by Jesus after His resurrection to enable Peter to do anything but weep. (Luke 24:34) (Don Francisco has written a powerful narrative song about that encounter.) Once Peter’s pride was out of the way, he indeed became the Rock that Jesus had nicknamed him at their first encounter. Until this moment, “reliable” was probably not a word most people would have used to describe him. God does whatever is necessary to prepare His servants for service, but it is always in love, even when the process is painful indeed.
I’ve had some moments when God confronted me with my weakness, and they are never comfortable. However, the end result is always comforting, because they remind me that not only am I unworthy, God is always able to use even such a flawed vessel as I am. We all face moments of temptation to deny that we know Jesus, even if not as dramatic as Peter faced. I need to keep my eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2) and encourage others to do likewise. I am currently dealing with someone who has had a major failure. I am not to excuse, but I am to forgive as I have been forgiven. I certainly need God’s wisdom as to how to go about that, because mine is insufficient. I don’t know what God’s plans are for him, but God has repeatedly given him Jeremiah 29:11 as a personal verse, and it is certainly true. I need to remember that God’s best for him fits in perfectly with His best for me, as my own father pointed out in his letter to the family just before the surgery from which he woke up in heaven. Human failures are exactly that, human, and God is greater than anything we could ever do, good or bad.
Father, thank You for this Word. Thank You for being bigger that my failures! Thank You for using me in Your plans. May I not allow pride of any sort to get in the way, but flow with Your Spirit on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!