I sat at the table in the middle of Chili’s. My boyfriend sat across from me and the table was filled with his friends. They were all theater majors, and they lived it with every ounce of themselves. I loved them. I was envious of them in a way. They knew who they were, or they appeared to. It was right before Christmas break so the topic of Christmas came up. Being the rebellious personalities they were Christ was a joke; something to laugh about. I sat quietly playing with my food occasionally looking across the table. I said nothing.Would you like to know what verse has haunted me since then? Matthew 10:32-33 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.” Now, I’m not trying to dismiss what this verse says, but even Peter openly disowned Christ and was forgiven. I, however, felt I had failed in this instance and others so greatly there was no way God would use me again. My reputation was too tarnished. I was no Peter after all.
The fear God would not use me has kept me from doing many things in my life. Why even try if He’s simply going to say, “You had your chance”? Or I would try, but in the back of my mind I would fear my past failures. What if someone found out? What if someone spoke up? There were days the fear was nearly crippling, or I would become another annoying person to work past the fear. It never really went away.
The story of Hagar helped to take that fear from me. Does God have some work to do because of messes I made? Yes, unfortunately so. I can’t pretend everything is how it should be. Can He use everything for the good of whoever is involved? He told me he can, so I believe Him. He can clean up my bad choices. Hagar was in the wilderness with no hope for the next day. She was angry and hurt and sorry, and God was in the picture. He let her know He still saw her, He was still with her, and He would still do as He promised. I was reminded His plan will work and He can use me. I have no need to fear my past failures anymore.