Dancing on Your Dash: Dancing After Denial

Kim CrabillBy Kim Crabill6 Minutes

Bill Waterson, creator of “Calvin and Hobbes,” wrote: “There’s no problem so awful that you can’t add some guilt to it and make it even worse.” Boy, do I know what he means! And so did one of Jesus’s disciples. So, before we conclude our series, we must talk about something that can cause us, perhaps shame us, into sitting out our life’s dance — and purpose!

Hello friend, I’m Kim Crabill, welcoming you back to Strengthen Your Walk as we conclude our series, “Dancing on Your Dash” — discerning when and discovering how God has choreographed our daily steps to fulfill the incredible plan He has declared for each of our lives.

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I’m sure you’ve heard of Peter — the disciple formerly known as Simon — he certainly was one of a kind! Generally, he was the first to speak up, and he was also the first to put his foot in his mouth. I can imagine him as the sort of man who makes others feel a bit uncomfortable at parties — maybe the type trying just a bit too hard, perhaps the one who nervously blurts out inappropriate responses. And yet, for me anyway, it’s difficult not to love him because I can so relate to him. Peter is so passionate, and he is completely and utterly human!

Peter’s initial encounter with Jesus began in the throes of guilt. If you recall when Jesus approached him, we read in Luke 5:8, Peter fell to his knees and cried, Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man. But Jesus didn’t go away, rather He invited Peter to follow Him … and Peter accepted the invitation.

Just a few years later, after Peter denied knowing Christ three times, it seemed he might also end his time with Jesus in the throes of guilt. We are told he “wept bitterly.”

But it didn’t end there.

John 21 records a day when the Risen Lord goes to the disciples who were fishing just offshore. I wonder if, just for a moment, Peter might have been tempted to duck down and hide in the boat. If so, it was a brief temptation because instead, in typical Peter fashion, he jumped into the water and raced to the shore to Jesus!

Jesus, who had changed Peter’s name, now greeted him with his old name … as Simon, Son of John. It’s a subtle reminder that Peter has reverted to his former self. Jesus recognizes Peter’s humanity and flaws but without condemning him.

And then, as if to say, “That’s enough about the past,” Jesus turns to the present moment. He assigns a ministry to Peter. He gives Peter a future to embrace. Jesus asks Peter three times: “Do you love me?” And each time He follows His question with an assignment: “Feed my lambs.” “Take care of my sheep.”

There are nuances in this exchange that we don’t have time to explore right now, but I want you to take away this monumental truth: This scene between Jesus and Peter assures us that our God is in the business of restoration, not condemnation.

We will often fall short. We will get knocked off our Dash Dance many times. And each time our enemy will yell, “Loser! That’s it for you.” But just when we can’t imagine ever dancing again, God holds out His hand to us. “Let’s dance again,” He says. “I promise to lead with love and acceptance, not guilt, not shame, not condemnation. Take My hand.”

You see, our enemy would love to write a big old “F” on the palm of your hand — to call you out as a failure. But God wants to inscribe an indelible “G” on your hand:

Good enough
God loved
Grace covered!

That’s what He did for Peter. The impulsive, uneducated fisherman who denied Jesus went on to be one of His greatest champions!

It’s that love and grace that can give us the courage to take His hand (again and again), surrender to His flow, and stay on our toes as we demonstrate His love to others through our own daily dance.

So, my friends, when Jesus invites you to dance, as he does each day, I hope this series has strengthened your walk in such a way that you will not sit it out, but you will find the courage to dance.

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