When Jesus talked about His Crucifixion, Peter was quick to speak and tell Jesus that he would stand tall for Jesus. Jesus informs Peter that not only will Peter not speak up for Jesus, but he would deny Him, not once, but three times.
Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance. And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.” But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. – Luke 22: 54-62 (ESV) (emphasis added)
We have all disappointed God at one point or another. We are human. We make mistakes. We sin. Only God is perfect. Now, we know that Peter was heartbroken over his denial of Jesus because he “wept bitterly.” But how much more so was his heart broken when he had to look directly into the Lord’s eyes to see his betrayal. “And the Lord turned and looked at Peter.” It is one thing to know that we have disappointed someone, but it is even harder to look into the eyes of the person we have disappointed and see that acknowledgement. We do not know how Jesus looked at Peter, but from what we know of Jesus’ character, it was probably a mixture of disappointment, compassion and love. Still, it would not have bothered Peter any less.
So what do we do when we have disappointed God? When God’s eyes meet our own? When we see the disappointment mixed with His infinite love and compassion?
First, we do not run and hide from it, we acknowledge it. We acknowledge to God that we know we disappointed Him.
Second, we humble ourselves and bow before our loving and powerful Heavenly Father. No room for attitudes here.
Third, we ask for God’s forgiveness. We let Him know how truly sorry we are for our sin.
And finally, we come into God’s open arms and accept His mercy and forgiveness. This is one of the most wonderfully unique parts of our God – His unending mercy and grace.