But go, tell his disciples and Peter, “He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.”(Mark 16:7)

IN THE 1929 ROSE BOWL, the University of California played against Georgia Tech. Cal’s Roy Riegels picked up a Tech fumble, but became confused and ran sixty-nine yards in the wrong direction. One of Roy’s teammates ran after him and tackled him just before he scored for Georgia. In the locker room at halftime, Riegels wept with regret, not wanting to return to the game. But his coach gave him a second chance. “Roy,” he said, “get up and go back out there—the game is only half over.” In the second half, Riegels turned in a stellar performance, but Georgia won the game 8–7.

When Peter denied the Lord, he wept bitterly with regret. In his own eyes and perhaps the eyes of the other disciples, Peter was a failure. But the Lord didn’t see Peter through condemning eyes. He saw Peter through eyes of grace. He made sure Peter knew He still loved him. We see that in the angel’s specific instructions to tell Peter of Christ’s resurrection. Jesus included Peter in His plans. In fact, Peter would go on to be one of Christ’s greatest apostles.

Everyone has failed the Lord in some way. At such times, we may be tempted to believe God can no longer use us. Not so. Jesus has the power to turn our failures into victories.

Don’t let yesterday’s failure keep you from serving God today.

Nancy Reinke lives in the Colorado Rockies with her artist husband. She enjoys writing, photography, hiking, gardening, grandmothering, and encouraging others.