Happy Easter! What an honor it is to be here, guest writing for Shelly! I’m sure you think the world of her; I sure do! She has such an inspiring way of expressing her heart and sharing her experiences in life and blogging. She gives us something to celebrate with each new Growing With Spawn post.
Speaking of spawn, my husband and I have 5 of them! A group of their friends spontaneously called me Mama Lava one day, and it stuck. My happy place is the beach, and I thoroughly enjoy blogging. But what I most want people to see is Jesus overflowing from this mama’s heart. And that is why I write. I started my blog, called Mama Lava’s Back Porch, a couple of months ago, hoping to extend beyond my locked-down reach, with encouraging Biblical truths and maternal love.
Have you thought much about the events we celebrate on Easter? Not surprisingly, given the season, I have had it on my mind. It is the most miraculous, victorious, resurrection story, and I have understood it, these past few days, akin to the perspective of Simon Peter. Are you familiar with his part in history? He was a disciple, who had left everything behind to follow and learn from Jesus. And he was impulsive – known for putting his mouth and muscle before his mind.
This week, I found myself identifying with Peter. I let my tongue run ahead of my brain and I shared details in a conversation that should have been left unsaid. I felt convicted about it and couldn’t sleep. And I tossed and turned all night, just wanting morning to come so I could ask forgiveness from the person to whom I had misspoken. While I lay awake, I felt for Simon Peter.
At dawn, on the morning the world would forever celebrate as the first Easter, Peter was in a bad space, physically and emotionally. He was with the other disciples of Jesus in self-quarantine, something we all know a little bit about these days. They were sequestered because of fear and grief. They had seen their Lord arrested, beaten beyond recognition, and crucified with a taunting sign over his head that read “King of the Jews”. Peter and the others had upheld that title and helped to propagate it. Would the soldiers come for them next?
It was even worse for Peter because not only was he afraid, he was also ashamed. Jesus told him that when the trial started, Peter would disown Him. Peter was indignant and had even promised to die with Jesus if he must. But when confronted, his words lept before his thoughts and he denied he was a friend of Jesus. Not once, not twice, but three times! Jesus heard him do it and had looked him straight in the eyes while the words still rang in the air. And then Jesus was led away to his death. The story is in Luke 22:54-62. I imagine Peter lay awake those next few nights, wishing he could find forgiveness.
We can all relate to Peter…
Have you ever done something awful that you never intended to do, or not done something that you really should have? Maybe you betrayed a close confidence or didn’t stand by someone when they needed you most? If so, you know that a heavy heart is a burdensome thing. As I wrestled with mine, I felt for Peter. He didn’t have hope for regaining his peace.
On that glorious Sunday when Jesus arose, having defeated sin and death, there must have been so much for Peter to celebrate, not the least of which was a chance at restoration. It finally came, several days after the Resurrection. Peter was in a boat offshore and saw Jesus on the beach. He jumped into the water in his haste to get to Jesus and make things right.
Jesus had no words of accusation. He simply asked Peter if he loved Him. Peter said he did. Jesus told him, “Feed my lambs”. Then He asked him again, and a third time. In each instance, Peter responded the same and Jesus repeated His command. How precious is that turn of events? Jesus allowed Peter to settle his own heart, with a reiteration of love and a promise to serve, for each of the three times he had failed. You can read the account in John 21:7-17.
Jesus not only forgave Peter and took away his devastating remorse, but He also reinstated his purpose. And it was Peter who founded the church. Their reconciliation was so complete, it was as if nothing had ever come between them.
His love is bigger than we can imagine!
Today, as we celebrate the miraculous implications of the Resurrection, I wonder if there are possibilities of restoration in your life? Are you needing forgiveness? Have you been carrying a heavy load of regret, or shame? Do you crave another chance to fulfill your purpose? Well, my dear friend, launch yourself out of that boat you’re in and hasten toward Jesus. He knows what is in your heart and He is eager to unburden you.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9
What better day than Easter to come to the Risen Lord, confess your sins, and reconcile with Him? Will you take the opportunity to profess your devotion, and allow Him to set you free toward your renewed purpose? The victory of Easter means new life and new beginnings! I’d love to celebrate yours with you today!
Before I go, here’s a song to help you celebrate…
God of salvation,
You chased down my heart
Through all of my failure and pride.
On a hill You created,
The light of the world,
Abandoned in darkness to die.
And as You speak,
A hundred billion failures disappear;
Where You lost Your life so I could find it here.
If You left the grave behind You so will I.
So Will I (100 Billion X)