“Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” John 21:16
It’s those times that we know we have failed the Lord, and others often too, that we wish we could have a do-over. We can’t erase the past, but we can have a new beginning.
It’s most often when I feel I have missed the Lord in what He was trying to communicate that I ask for another opportunity. It’s often when I am supposed to bless someone with a word of encouragement or a prophetic word that I miss the first opportunity. I might see the person and I am just not sure of the word that I have, or not sure of myself, or that it’s the right time. Inevitably the opportunity is lost and I find myself having to go back to the Lord and ask for another opportunity to speak to the person. Most often, the Lord is gracious and opens another window of time. Usually, I don’t hesitate the second time knowing that I’ve already missed the first opportunity and the window might close again before I get to the person. I realize that the Lord has been gracious to me and I don’t want to mess it up again.
Sometimes that doesn’t happen and I have to live with the fact that I was too slow in my obedience. Sometimes we rush into the situation when we clearly sense the Lord telling us, “No,” and it turns into a mess. Either way we have regret.
I don’t think the Lord wants us to live in regret. However, He does want us to learn from our mistakes. Sometimes we don’t partner with Him the way He is inviting us to partner with Him. Sometimes we think it is all up to us and we forget that He is more than willing to the heavy lifting. If we just put one front of the other, the Jordan River will part so that we can enter into the Promised Land. Too often fear stops us dead in our tracks.
The Lord did not want Peter to live in regret either. Peter was the one who vehemently spoke out against the notion that all of them as disciples would abandon Jesus. Well, we all know what happened. As the rooster cried out three times, so did Peter. That’s not the end of the story.
The Lord graciously restored Peter by the spoken word, “Feed my sheep.” Jesus through the power of repetition overrode Peter’s shortcomings with His infinite mercy and grace. Where do you need God’s grace today?
By Ralph Veenstra