By Nancy Strackany
While watching the Sunday service online, I opened the end of the gospel of Luke covering the last 24 hours in the life of Jesus. Luke 22:60-61, reads, ‘But Peter said, “Man I don’t know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, a cock crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he hadtold him, “Before a cock crows today, you will deny me three times.”’
As I put myself in the place of Peter, just realizing that he had denied Jesus, his friend, brother, teacher, it made me cry. It was all the more upsetting because Jesus wasn’t condemning Peter, He was reminding him of Who He was.
That morning, I decided to stay home from church and watch GFC online because it’s the only time my husband gets any church. I’ve learned certain things to do that make it a better experience, like make sure I serve breakfast before the service, don’t decide to get involved in a project before and never get into a controversy after the service. And most important, pray.
But today I forgot all of those things. Today we did a little work outside before-hand and I felt rushed and annoyed that my husband decided the early service was ready to go so why wait until 11:30. We hadn’t eaten breakfast and we quickly sat down to watch. The message was impactful and I could see that my husband was feeling upset. So, when I pressed him about his thoughts, he began to share his doubts.
Without listening long, I told him my reasons why he shouldn’t have any. Needless to say, it got a little ugly then and I ended up going back outside, my place of refuge. I cried and I asked God, “Why did I mess up again?” Then I remembered Peter. A day before his famous rooster event, Jesus also told Peter he would be praying for his faith not to fail. Later Jesus, on the Mount of Olives, warned his disciples, “pray that you will not give in to temptation,” and repeated the same when He found them all sleeping. Peter obviously did not heed these warnings. I felt a lot like him just then, a failure.
But what I know, that Peter did not, and as pastor Matt reminded us, is that the story has a good ending. That ending reveals that Jesus paid the price for Peters failure, and for mine. Jesus later made sure Peter knew how much He loved him, and He gave Peter and all of us His Holy Spirit to continue to help and encourage, us and pray for us when we need it most.
Jesus was telling me, “Look, you’re going to make mistakes, but don’t worry, I know the future, I am bigger than your mistakes, and this story has a happy ending. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Just turn around and encourage your husband, because tomorrow’s a new day.” I’m so thankful that when I cry out to God, he is faithful to answer me!
How have you heard God’s answer when you call to him?