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God In Our Failure

Weekly Devotionals

God In Our Failure

John 21 1:17

Afterward, Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way:  Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered. He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of a large number of fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.”So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not tor Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead. Jesus Reinstates Peter. When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

I don’t know if you have ever experienced that you thought God gave you the impression to do something, but it turns out it wasn’t. Often times we do things thinking it was God but later, we realize it was actually ourselves or our own desire. Many years ago, there was a decision to make and I sought the Lord’s will. My heart was consistently seeking God’s will and I kept trying to let go of my own desire and agenda in order to hear God clearly. After all, I made a decision and it came out so perfectly. There were many confirmations and I was sure that I was on the right track. A year later from the decision, I came to realize that it wasn’t actually God leading me but it was my own desire. I can’t even describe how discouraged and disappointed I was. The disappointment was toward myself. At the end of the road of refining my very best intention to obey God met a failure. I was embarrassed. However, as I spent time with God and His word in silence and solitary, I found out another thing. After the year process, even though I chose based on my desire which led me to some consequences that were not pleasant, God overall used my failure to sanctify me. Even in my weakness and shortcomings, God was the best at creating something beautiful out of it. At the time, I read this passage. Peter was told by Jesus that he would deny Him. Peter was so sure that would never happen and his will to go against the prophecy was very strong. Peter probably tried everything not to even go there. But he did. With his every human effort and his willpower to go against his weakness, he failed. I wondered why Jesus had to tell Peter that ahead of time. I wonder if Jesus wanted to tell Peter that even his best effort and willpower, he would fail, and that is okay for Jesus. As we all know, Jesus finds Peter while he was in the water fishing. When Peter found Jesus, he ran to him. I like imagining what Peter was possibly thinking about at the moment. The puzzling thoughts and feelings that we encounter when we see something absolutely weird and impossible. Peter was running to the unconditional Love, the Love that he had never experienced, the Love that accepts in our worst failure, the Love was cooking breakfast for him to come and enjoy. Oh, how I love this story. Friends, God is never surprised by our failures or weaknesses. He sees it as an opportunity for us to learn and experience the absolute acceptance by the Greatest Love. Blessings.