Epiphanies, the Apostle Peter, and the TV show Nashville

12:51 PMHeather

You've surely heard the saying, "What you don't know might hurt you." Well, I think it might be revised to say, "What you don't remember might hurt you."

I love the Aussie speaker and author, Christine Caine. After hearing her speak at the IF Gathering in 2014, I began to follow her on social media. She often posts great words of truth that start with this phrase--

Don't forget to remember.

Oh, yes. Don't forget to remember!

There are important things to remember. Which is becoming a more difficult task the older I am. I used to be great at names. I was even a bit prideful about this little talent. God used age to humble me because now, for the life of me, I'm AWFUL at it. Good thing I live in the south, where I can use generic phrases like hon, sweetie, and friend.

While reading the IF Equip's Easter study, I came upon one little phrase in Mark 14 that stopped me in my tracks. I'd never seen it before. But there it was, glaring at me. Challenging me, even. Like an old west show down.

Immediately, the rooster crowed the second time. Then, Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him; "Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times." And he broke down and wept.
Mark 14:72

Then, Peter remembered the word that Jesus had spoken to him.

Bless. Peter must have been older than me. Because--hello! This was Jesus. Who told him this little factoid that very same night. Earlier that evening. And Peter denied it so fervently when Jesus first said it. Then, he forgot it? And upon the recollection, he broke down and wept.

I'll give him a pass for stress induced forgetfulness, considering his Lord and Savior had been arrested and all, right before his very eyes.

Listen, there are all sorts of little things we either don't remember or don't know. And they can hurt us.

Like when Deacon kept Rayna and Maddie and other loved ones at bay because he didn't want them to know about his medical diagnosis. They thought he was just being mean and uncaring. But what they didn't know was that there was a reason behind his distance. There was a motivation of love and protectiveness at the root of it all.

Yes, I'm using my guilty pleasure, Nashville, to make a spiritual point here. Because I strive to find Jesus in every part of my day.

I'm overspiritual like that.

So, my point is this. I read that little phrase--then Peter remembered--and I saw that he had a strong emotional response to this epiphany. Because it pointed out how true his Savior was. It showed him the grace of Jesus--that he knew Peter's shortcomings, yet he still invited him in. He even took him to pray, just before his arrest--just prior to these denials. And it reminded Peter how frail and human he really was.

I paused there.  And I asked the Lord to reveal to me anything I wasn't remembering. Anything I wasn't seeing or didn't seem to grasp that he might want me to know.

I thought of how Rayna and Maddie might have felt differently if they only knew the real reason behind Deacon's distance.

So, I asked God to show me any real epiphany that might reframe things from which I'm trying to move forward.


Seriously in about a nanosecond it hit me. And I could've wept like Peter.

Because I've spent much of my adult life feeling robbed. Robbed of this great dad I had for barely 19 years. He was such a good and kind and attentive father. And losing loved ones like that changes you. For the rest of your life. It's becomes a part of you that gradually, you learn to live with. Gradually, you can co-exist with that empty place. Over time, memories become more sweet reminders than bitter. Although there are always hard days that it feels fresh. It sorta sneaks up on you. When your son says something that sounds just like your dad. Or when you wish your dad was there to call for advice. When you walk down the aisle and when you birth your babies. These losses become part of your identity. And with time, you don't resent them as much. 

There it was. I had only seen my loss. I had spent the better part of over two decades bemoaning what I didn't have.

And as surely as if Deacon had spilled the beans right off the bat and it would have changed everything, the truth that I'd been missing--what I either didn't know or couldn't remember was this.

Maybe, just maybe--God prompted my dad to be so involved and to make so many memories and to be so attentive exactly because the time would be short. I'm not saying my dad had some premonition. I'm just saying that God knew all along how things were going to go.

Jesus knew exactly what Peter was going to do.

And he let Peter know that he was aware and there was a plan.

I'm saying maybe God sewed it into my father's heart and desires to be present, to be the one to car pool me, to be the one to take me to honors banquets, to be at every last stinking drill team performance, and to play endless hours of HORSE in our driveway.

Because God, in his kindness, wanted to gift me all those precious memories. 

More memories than some people ever have with their dads.  

What if God didn't rob me of anything...but instead offered up an abundance of GIFTS to treasure until the time I'm reunited with my dad forever?

Holy cow. That changes everything. That epiphany caused an emotional response like Peter. I wanted to weep. Weep at my own stubborness and short sightedness for staying stuck on the bitterness. Weep at my failures. And weep for the goodness of a God who is there all along. Every step of our paths. When we are on fire and all about Jesus and following him closely. 

And when our circumstances cause us to deny him.

He is there. 

He is faithful. 

When we are faithless. 

It was a gift. This epiphany. To suddenly realize there was a plan, a purpose, a sweet and gentle faithfulness that I had failed to see. A part I never took time to examine.

And it has caused me to consider.

What else don't I know? What else do I not remember about Jesus' Word and God's faithfulness? What else am I so sidetracked by my own limited perspective that I might be missing? Because what I'm missing might just be a freeing piece of TRUTH that would change it all?

Oh, Lord. Help me to lean in and listen closely. Help me to see things through your eyes. Help me to take time to be brave enough to remember and to consider and to be teachable.

Help me to see this life through eternity's eyes. So that things that are hard can melt into bearable. And things that feel like curses can be seen as blessings. And faithful ways of a Heavenly Father can be fully appreciated.

There's oh so much I do not know. And things I do not remember.

Help me to not forget to remember. Help me to know. To know you better, day by day.

Because it changes everything.

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