Sitting at my kitchen table one day, I looked with satisfaction at the blue-and-white painted surface. Although I’ve rarely done DIY projects, I had tackled this table-painting project the previous summer as an experiment. My 15-year-old discount table with the light wood top and white bottom had now taken on a preppy new look to match our navy-and-white striped couch cover. But as I looked around the room, I noticed the antique desk my mother refinished when I was a child. After a recent move, a knob was missing from the desk drawer. With newfound confidence in my ability to tackle any furniture restoration project, off I went to the hardware store. I bought two new unfinished wooden knobs, a small can of stain and in no time, my desk was restored to its original usefulness.
As I sat at the cheerfully painted table and read John 21:15-19, I thought about restoration. These passages describe the restoration of relationship that occurred between Peter and Jesus. Peter, one of Jesus’s closest followers, had done the unthinkable. At the hour of Jesus’s greatest need, Peter had denied three times that he even knew him. Luke 22:54-62 details Peter’s denial of Christ and the repercussions. After weeping bitterly, Peter was no doubt wracked with terrible guilt and shame. Watching his closest friend crucified only served to remind Peter of his own cowardice. But that wasn’t the end of Peter’s story.
God didn’t leave Peter in his self-condemnation and shame, because he is in the restoration business. After Jesus’s crucifixion, three days later he rose from the dead and appeared alive to many witnesses. One of those witnesses was Peter. In one of his post-resurrection appearances, he sat down on a beach and had breakfast with Peter. In the account detailed in John 21:15-19, Jesus asks Peter, who had denied him three times, if he loved him three times. Peter had the chance to affirm his love for Christ and receive his forgiveness, even after he’d made the worst possible choice.
We have the same opportunity today that Peter had. Jesus Christ died, rose again, and ascended to heaven so that our sins, like Peter’s sins, could be forgiven. When we ask for his forgiveness, God freely extends it to us through Jesus. Why? Because he is an expert restorer and refinisher of hearts. Maybe you’re like Peter. Having known about Jesus Christ, or even having followed him closely, perhaps you’ve walked away? Perhaps some wrong choices or difficult life circumstances have put a distance between you and the Lord? If you need restoration in your life, do just what Peter did when Jesus said, “Peter, do you love me?” Simply say, “Yes Lord.” In so doing you will receive the kind of restoration that only God can offer.
Janet DeCaster Perrin is a Christian writer and speaker. She is a wife and mom who is passionate about encouraging others to pursue a relationship with Jesus Christ and to walk closely with him on the road of everyday life. She has served as a women’s pastor, Bible college adjunct faculty member, church and Christian school volunteer, and missions team member. She holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a J.D. from Emory University School of Law, and a Certificate of Biblical Studies from ACTS International Bible College. She is also licensed for Christian ministry with RAIN (Resurrection Apostolic International Network). You can find her blog at asamaritanwomanspeaks.blogspot.com and contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.