And the Lord turned and looked at Peter, Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” Luke 22:61
I’d lost contact with my dearest friends. Looking back at my wedding photos I realized how I’d failed to keep up with many of my closest friends.
Recently, I called a woman I hadn’t spoken to in almost nineteen years. I’d purposely lost contact because she didn’t measure up to my expectations of a “good friend.” She’d served as the maid of honor in my wedding and was even with me the moment I met my husband. We were best friends and had weathered a lot together. I could have blamed my lack of relationship on many things, but I knew I harbored unforgiveness over a spat. I didn’t see my feelings as unforgiveness, I just thought she wasn’t a good friend. Then I realized, the problem wasn’t her … it was me.
The Lord knew Peter, one of His closest friends, would deny Him three times in one night. Talk about painful … with all they’d been through together, it had to hurt. But Jesus knew Peter’s heart. He understood sometimes our friends can’t come through for us because of where they are personally.
In the case of Peter, he went back to his previous occupation, a fisherman, refusing to see himself worthy to do what Jesus had called him to do. It wasn’t until Jesus met with him on the beach that Peter could move forward in his call, knowing Jesus had forgiven him and still thought of him as His friend … such a friend that Jesus dubbed him “the rock.”
Forgiveness begins by opening the door of love for those who have hurt us or let us down. This simple act of kindness allows us to move forward. One phone call to a “friend” let me know I was the only one looking at the relationship with the wrong perception, and I’d missed out on years of a friendship.
As you reflect on past and present relationships, make sure you have done all you can to enable them to know Christ’s love and grace through you. Forgive as Jesus forgave and find the enrichment of a Christ-like love.
Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and luigi diamanti.
Ann Wallace, a Bible study teacher, speaker, freelance writer, and photographer, is currently in transition again. Moving back to her home state of South Carolina, she hopes she will finally be settled. Formerly a staff writer and photographer for Cool Springs Living Magazine, she is looking forward to new assignments God has in store in her new location. She has traveled and worked for an international ministry, been a women’s ministry director, Bible study teacher, speaker both domestically and abroad, and served in various other capacities through different ministries throughout her many moves. She is passionate about Christ and is a gifted storyteller.