Lately I have been thinking about second chances, and third chances. I read recently about the apostle Peter and the way he denied knowing Christ over and over at the time of the Saviors greatest need. Three times he denied him. Peter couldn't for whatever reason stand up and claim his Master. Three chances. He had three separate opportunities to say "Yes, I know him. I walked with him. He saved my life. He was my friend."
So many times in life I feel like Peter. Of course I don't go around saying I have no idea who Jesus is (there aren't armed guards waiting to take me away to be martyred if I did) but in small ways, everyday, don't we all act as if we don't really know him? When we share a juicy piece of gossip or think an unkind thought, raise our voices to loved ones or even complete strangers in traffic... There are LOTS of times a day when I know I should and could be doing better...
Here's the good part of the story though. See, after Christ was resurrected and appeared again to Peter. He was of course completely loving and forgiving and he asked Peter not once, not twice but THREE times "Lovest thou me?" The Lord gave Peter the opportunity for perfect redemption from his earlier mistakes. I don't know how I never caught this before but it really spoke to me as I read. Three times Peter denied the Lord and now three times he is given the opportunity to repent and make it right. To say what he really meant to say in the first place.
The Savior truly loves us, no matter what. He will give us every opportunity to be forgiven and do better. He wants us to do better and become the men and women he designed us to be. He wants us to get it right, even if it takes 100 times. He will forgive us as long as we are trying.
Today I am thankful for second, third, fourth, fifth and well you get it, chances.