When Grace Overpowers Shame
“But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him, just as He told you.” Mark 16:7
Shame sends me into hiding, but grace calls me out, draws me near, soothes my hurt, and provides a giant eraser that empowers me to try again.
When my husband met me, I was homeless. Sometimes I found a couch to crash on, other times a floor. Many nights I stayed awake, roaming the streets, crying out to God.
Decades prior, I came to Him as a snotty-nosed child. I latched on with all my young girl heart the moment I heard the gospel. But then life hit again and again, until I lost my fight and began to self-destruct.
By my teen years, I saturated my pain with alcohol. And some days, when my heartache and the shame for who I’d become overwhelmed me, I longed to pass out and never awake.
I felt worthless, filthy, and beyond hope.
But God saw in me a precious child, created in love. He pulled me off the streets and spent the next decade restoring me until I was able to stand in His presence shame-free, resting freely in His grace freely given.
God’s grace is strong enough to overcome our greatest failure. We see how true this is in Jesus’s interaction with His disciple, Peter. Shortly after vehemently asserting his loyalty, he denied Jesus in the Savior’s darkest hour.
Imagine the guilt, shame, and despair that flooded Peter’s heart when the reality of his sin hit. Scripture doesn’t tell us where Peter fled to after Jesus’s death, but I suspect he went into hiding, as many of us do, when moral failures press upon us.
But Jesus sought Peter out, saying, in essence, “Come to Me, Peter. Return to Me, and rest in my embrace. My grace is big enough to cover your every sin.”
Each day, Jesus says the same to us.
Jennifer Slattery is a writer, editor, speaker, and the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries. She writes for Crosswalk, is the author of eight contemporary novels, including the soon to be released Building A Family and helped write Wholly Loved’s Bible study based on the life of Sarai (Gen. 12-23) titled Becoming His Princess, available for free (in ebook form) from Wholly Loved Ministries. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall outings with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit her online at jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com.
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