“Then Jesus said to them, ‘All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
Peter answered and said to Him, ‘Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.’” Matthew 26:31,33
My heart swelled with delight as I picked up the phone to dial a friend to ask her to help with something in ministry, and it was no small ask. I knew Jesus had told me to ask her and so I called with expectation and joy, beaming to give this gift she would love.
Before I could extend the invitation, my friend began to share some hard things she was going through, places of deep pain, and confession of sin in her life. Shame spilled over into her words as she shared hurts, heartaches, and bared all in brokenness.
In the middle of her sharing, I heard in my spirit the Lord speak, “I haven’t changed my mind.” With relief, I waited until she was done sharing all she needed to share. After extending love and grace and praying with her, I leaned into the question the Lord asked me to ask her. I sensed joy pressing out, knowing how kind the Lord was in asking for her to join him THIS DAY, this day that she would share hidden sin, this day when shame would try to overtake her, this day He would call her…
Oh what an amazing Heavenly Father, what an amazing Jesus, what an AMAZING SCANDALOUS GRACE!
Perhaps she felt like Peter when he denied Christ, then He called him to feed His sheep and follow Him…
Peter was confident he wouldn’t stumble—in fact so confident that he contradicted Jesus. But before we judge Peter for his arrogance, we must admit that we too could wear those stumbling sandals.
What I love about the story of Peter is that Jesus knew he would fail and knew he would deny him, yet Jesus still chose him. Knowing all things, Jesus still called Peter and said “On this rock I will build My church.”(Matt 16:18)
I can only imagine the torment Peter must have went through by denying Jesus and possibly questioning if by stumbling, he stumbled right over his destiny into destitution.
Those same sandals Peter stumbled in are the ones he raced John in to get to the tomb to see for themselves if what they heard was true—He is risen! They are also the same sandals that once walked on the water to Jesus and then jumped into the water to Jesus. (Matt 14:29, John 21:7)
Jesus and Peter had a conversation in which Jesus once again affirmed Peter’s calling. (John 21:15-19) Even knowing Peter’s faults and would be failings, not once did Jesus change his mind about Peter.
I wonder how Peter received this from Jesus. He must have been overjoyed tasting grace. Nothing heals like the sweet savor of grace.
My friend, shocked at my request after all she had just told me, questioned, “You don’t think I’m a liability?” I replied, “No, I’ve never thought of you as a liability and I won’t start now. Jesus didn’t change his mind in the middle of our conversation. He knew every word you would say before you said it, he knew all, and He said to ask you.”
My friend tasted grace that day. How sweet grace tastes. His love is beyond compare and His grace is deeper than the oceans. His grace reaches down into the depths, the depths of our souls, and calls us loved, accepted, wanted, and His.
This weekend, there is a Deeper Still retreat where ladies are coming to find healing and freedom from the past sin of abortion. Perhaps, like my friend, and Peter, these ladies feel unworthy of the good gifts and calling God has for them. Will you pray with us that these ladies will hear the Lord say, “I haven’t changed my mind. I have a plan for you. Just take my hand. Feed my sheep. Follow me.”
What an amazing God. What an amazing Grace!
Father God, we thank you for such an amazing grace. We thank you that even when we feel like we’ve forfeited the plan for our lives or feel unworthy of the good things you have for us, that you search for us and find us and call us. Lord, we pray for every lady at the retreat this weekend as well as those reading this that feel they are unworthy of your love and blessings. Father, draw them to you. We break the bonds of shame in the name of Jesus and declare over their lives that they are worthy in Jesus Christ. Set them free Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Today’s post was written by Sue Molitor. Sue works with the ministry of Deeper Still in International Relations. She lives in beautiful East Tennessee and loves spending time with her husband and 3 kids. She enjoys reading, coffee with friends, and taking long walks. She has been writing for the Deeper Still Devotions for 7 years and loves to encourage others and cheer them on towards finding freedom and healing.
Deeper Still is a ministry that offers free weekend retreats for women who have had abortions and the men who fathered children lost to abortion. If you have had an abortion and would like more information about our retreats, please go to www.GoDeeperStill.org to find a retreat close to you.