Flashback to a courtyard and our beloved disciple Peter. Do you ever wonder where he was at the end of the gospel of Mark–emotionally, spiritually, physically? Was he pondering what may lie ahead?
After the courtyard experience where he had denied Jesus three times just as prophesied and had left weeping bitterly, Peter returned to the only safe haven he knew in the city of Jerusalem. John tells us that they were hidden behind closed doors for fear of the Jews. Perhaps they were wondering if they too would be crucified if others found them knowing that their very accents betrayed them. As they sat and mourned the loss of the one they had followed for three years their thoughts did not return to the words of Jesus: “when I am raised, I will meet you in Galilee” but rather their thoughts replayed and rehearsed the past few days and the questions of why, when, how and more. Peter of all would be wondering if ever he could forgive himself and could or would God forgive him? We too have times when we fall and wonder and at these times where we can turn.
We know that John tells us that after Jesus’ resurrection Peter was fully restored…
but Peter is not there yet.
Like many of us who have faced sin, Peter had to walk the road of misery, mourning, wondering and questioning. But, later he will write what truly happened in his personal letter to those who are suffering. He knows the path and he knows how to encourage. Listen to his words and be encouraged if you too have like Peter experienced a time of falling away:
“His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
Today, if you are walking with Peter through the agony of dismay, discouragement, despondency for having fallen in some way; take heart, when you repent there is hope. Where there is hope there is joy! Where there is joy there is peace and God’s protection. It is then that Psalm 37 rings forth with words of comfort and peace:
Trust in the Lord, Delight yourself in the Lord, Commit your way to the Lord; Rest in the Lord. This is our journey back to God.