Today, I’m welcoming Gretchen Fleming to True and Faithful. Gretchen and I go way back — as young moms raising babies and kids, working in the church nursery and doing Bible study together. She’s a Bible teacher at heart, with a love for the Word and passion to see women in the Word. It’s a joy to have Gretchen share from this week’s 100 Days with Christ Bible study.
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There are some moments we will never forget.
Moments like when I was newly married at 22 and in an argument with my financially prudent husband. I was so angry that I wanted to retaliate against him for making me upset. So I turned on the hot water faucet in the kitchen sink and came to bed.
Noticing the sound after we quietly settled in for the night, my husband asked what it was. I triumphantly replied, “THAT’S the hot water running!”
Although somewhat comical now to remember and joke about together, it was also very revealing.
I knowingly did something that I knew would upset him. Recognizing how petty I was at the time is humbling now. Even embarrassing.
Before I married, I didn’t realize how immature I was, but under the right circumstances, I soon found out.
Not all moments of self-awareness are quite so comical to recall, some are painful.
These moments are seared into my mind, leaving my heart broken over the choices I’ve made.
They have come at different seasons in my life but the ones that grieve me the most are related to my “mommy” moments. Some of these times are when I have ‘lost it”, yelling at the children and venting my rage/frustration.
I still remember the time of ranting like a lunatic at my oldest, over a school related issue, as I drove home through our neighborhood.
What an epic failure!
I am horrified at the thought of such moments and what they revealed to me that I didn’t think possible!
But under the right set of circumstances, my heart revealed what was always there- fear, anger, unbelief, impatience, selfishness . . .
Although I was completely unaware at the time the depth of my sin, what made it worse is that I didn’t think I was CAPABLE of it. I was unaware that I had the potential to betray those I held most dear to me.
But Jesus knew this and wanted me to learn it as well. If we are left clueless at how sinful we really are, we will not recognize our desperate need of Jesus, nor His unconditional love for us in the midst of our mess.
Epic failures are the moments we understand how wrong we can be but also, how steadfast His love remains.
I see this exact scenario play out in the life of Peter after Jesus was arrested in Luke 22. Peter had already been warned by Jesus of his impending epic failure in verse 34. Jesus plainly told Peter when he was boasting that he would follow Christ to prison and death, that he would in fact deny he even knew Jesus.
Not once but three times no less!
Peter was probably flabbergasted at the thought of this predicted epic failure!
He didn’t think it remotely possible that he would betray his Savior. He thought he had it in him to do the right thing, especially for someone as deserving as Jesus.
But he didn’t.
Peter replied, ‘Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!’ Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him….And he went outside and wept bitterly. Luke 22:60-62
Peter eventually came to the shocking discovery of how wretched he really was. Sooner or later, each of us can become tempted and give way to the unthinkable.
Failure in our fidelity.
Failure in our work life.
Failure in our family life.
Failure in our ministry.
When we’ve blown it in a way that we didn’t think possible, we can feel bitterly broken, just like Peter.
I can relate. Maybe you can too?
But Jesus looks at us as He did Peter- with unconditional love, forgiving us at our very worst. We are met with grace in our moments of failure, giving us hope as we confess and repent in the redeeming work of a cross long ago.
Epic failures are in ALL our lives, but so is the redeeming love of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice that covers them all!
Like Peter, we too can go on to become mighty men and women of God, as Jesus transforms our failures into moments that transform us, to the glory of His name!
Gretchen’s passion is to follow hard after Jesus. God’s Word has been life-giving to her through the most trying times—a great source of strength, wisdom, and truth. She’s a speaker, writer, and Bible teacher who loves to see Jesus change lives as He’s changed hers. Gretchen is also a wife of 28 years and mother of 3 young adult children, in her current seaoson of full time ministry. She would love the opportunity to come speak at your next retreat or conference! Join her at gretchenfleming.com or find her on Instagram.
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