Somewhere I heard the story of a concert held in Philadelphia. One of the movements featured a flute solo that was to be played as if coming from a distance. The conductor instructed the flutist to stand offstage where she was to count the measures precisely in order to come in at just the right time.
With no visual contact from the conductor, she had to rely on perfect precision. On the night of the performance, the time came for the solo, and it began exactly on time. Everything was going perfectly, when suddenly, there was a piercing sour note, and the soloist never finished her part. The conductor was outraged, and at the end of the performance he rushed off stage to find the soloist. But she was prepared.
“Maestro,” she said, “before you say anything, let me explain. You heard me come in accurately, and everything was going beautifully, when suddenly this stage hand ran up, grabbed away my flute, and pushed me back, saying, ‘Be quiet! Don’t you know there’s a concert going on out there?!”
Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, and no matter how well we prepare …we still don’t get it all right. The apostle Peter knew that. One minute he’s declaring that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” (Matt. 16:16), and the next minute he’s rebuking the same Christ, telling him that he won’t let Jesus die (Matt. 16:22). One minute he’s declaring that he will never be the one to betray Jesus, even if everyone else does (Matt. 26:33). The next minute, he won’t even admit to knowing who Jesus is (Matt. 26:72, 74).
But, even as disappointing as Peter is at times, we know better than to harshly judge him for his faults, don’t we? Because we know how many times we have failed to speak up on Jesus’ behalf. We know how many times we have forgotten our place, given in to temptation, or mistreated someone. And, it’s in those moments – those times when we feel as though we may never have it all together –
that we can stop and thank God for His grace.
Never forget the words written by the apostle Paul: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
– Bryan Dill