He’d given up his job, way of life, and everything to follow the Teacher. But now the Teacher was gone. Unsure of what’s next, he called out to his buddies, “I’m going fishing.” His friends, Thomas, James, Nathaniel, John, and two others, decided to go hang out with him. They got in the boat and were out on the water all night, but they never caught any fish.
With the events of the last few days still weighing heavily on his mind, Peter tried to deal with his disappointment, grief, and loss the best way he knew. He thought his only option was to go back to his old way of life… fishing (John 21: 1-3).
Peter was a beloved disciple. Sure, he was human and made mistakes. Often, his impulsivity got the best of him, causing him to react without thinking.
When Jesus was washing the disciples’ feet, Peter blurted, “No, you shall never wash my feet.” But eventually, he agreed after Jesus explained the reason to him.
In another conversation with Jesus, Peter asked, Lord, where are you going? Jesus responded, where I am going, you cannot follow, but you will follow later.
Peter: Lord, why can’t I follow you? I will lay down my life for you.
Jesus: Will you really lay down your life for me? I tell you before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times! (John 13:36-38).
Peter did as Jesus predicted. When Jesus faced betrayal and persecution. He denied knowing Jesus three times.
Peter felt worthless.
What’s your story?
Perhaps you feel worthless, like you’ve let God down, or deeply ashamed about your past. Maybe you’re struggling with change or have deep issues of unforgiveness, especially toward your parents.
Just when Peter needed encouragement, Jesus showed up on the shore to restore him (John 21:5-17). He can do the same for you. He is ready to open new doors, restore you, and help you discover the treasures in your failures and disappointments.
Finding Treasures and Purpose in Your Story
What are the treasures in Peter’s story?
- Peter’s story is not only about his failure. He showed courage when he stepped out of the boat to walk on the water. He was in Jesus’ inner circle.
- No one’s perfect. Just because Peter failed at something doesn’t make him a failure.
- God’s love and forgiveness don’t depend on our success or failure. Jesus encouraged Peter and restored him back to the ministry.
- Later, the restored Peter preached the gospel message, and about 3000 accepted and were baptized (Acts 2:37-41).
Your doubts and failure don’t disqualify you either. God can still use you. He can use the very things that caused you heartache to lead you to your unique purpose.
There are treasures in your story.
It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure—Joseph Campbell
You can learn and grow from your failures if you’re open to them. Your messy story is often the seed for your purpose.
After the divorce, my friend Sandy struggled to raise her three teenage sons alone. Out of the ashes of divorce and single motherhood, she found the treasures of compassion, patience, love, and forgiveness. Today, her home is a safe place for at-risk teenagers.
My late mentor, Becky, grew up as a missionary kid in Ethiopia. In mid-life, she returned to Ethiopia to encourage believers, but then she received a cancer diagnosis. Though she was disappointed that she could no longer travel, she organized and helped others to go and serve. I was motivated by her story and went on mission trips to Ethiopia along with several others. Teenagers who went on these mission trips had life-changing experiences. You can read more of Becky’s story here.
What did Peter, Sandy, and Becky, find in their stories of failure and disappointments?
They found hope, treasures, and purpose.
So, let me ask you again, what’s your story?
Disappointment? Failure? Deep hurt? Heartache?
Turn to Jesus and ask him to show you your story’s unique treasures and purpose. Jesus loves you passionately and longs to restore you.
He is waiting on you!
We all have stories of challenges and tough times. What’s one thing you’re willing to do to invite Jesus into your story?
Wondering how to let go of disappointment and shame so you can pursue your purpose? Book a FREE Discovery Call today to discuss how I can help you.