When I reading with our older kids last night, I was feeling frustrated, like I had let my kids down. Like I hadn’t done enough for the day. (Usually happens after scrolling through Facebook or instagram, i.e. note to self). I was throwing up a prayer and felt an immediate response, there’s grace for that guilt too. When you did enough and you still feel like it’s not enough. When you didn’t necessarily do anything wrong, but you are afraid you didn’t really do anything right either. There’s grace.
Imagine this with me. There’s a little boy working hard on an assignment. The school day is ending and he’s stressed trying to finish all of his work. His teacher has two choices – scold him for not getting his work done or sit (down?) by him and calmly reassure him he has tomorrow. And what about the boy’s parents? Again, they have two choices. They can be frustrated they have to help and rail him asking him why he didn’t get his work done in class OR they can sit down with him at the dining room table, answer questions, laugh about the day and enjoy time together while he finishes his work.
We can see the difference when we are looking at someone else, especially a little one, that the scolding is unnecessary, but we do it to ourselves all the time. And I don’t think this is how Jesus is speaking to us.
Another example of this would be Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples. On Jesus’ way to the cross, Peter denies knowing Him three times before the rooster crows. Peter promised Jesus he would follow no matter what. He left everything and now he is denying he even knows Jesus. Can you imagine Peter’s mental beating he is giving himself? Why did you do that? What were you thinking? You should be ashamed of yourself.
What does Jesus do?
He restores. He gives grace upon grace. He know’s Peter inside and out. Jesus wants to be with him. To have breakfast with him, even after this fall.
We went to this spot on a trip to Israel this past November. An amazing trip. This spot where Jesus restores Peter spoke so tenderly to me and tears bursted forth as I walked down to the beach. I was overcome, so grateful for a Savior that wanted to be with someone who totally messed up. I imagined Jesus smiling as He was walking out on to that shore to call Peter in because He knew what He was going to say. He knew he loved Peter and that Peter loved him. Maybe He asked Peter if he loved Him so that Peter would remember that he did. And that love for God and for people is what changes everything.
Let God’s love and grace transform even the smallest of guilt into peace. Knowing He has us. He is working. He is growing and changing us, even if we don’t see fruit yet. Little by little.
What do you feel guilty for today? Ask God to pour His grace over it. He will.