I’m not sure if Peter is just a slow learner, but he’s definitely an example for all of us. This weekend, we heard about Jesus asking him three times if he loves Him, and telling Peter three times to take care of His people. (John 21:15-17) I just read the story where Peter has a vision of unclean food and hears, “Take and eat.” His reply? “No way. It’s dirty.” God’s reply? “Yes, way. Don’t call what I have made dirty.” (Acts 10:11-16) How many times? Three.
Everything he learns, he is taught in sets of three. It gives me hope for myself and for others. If we don’t get it the first time – and generally, we don’t get it the first time – God will come back again and again to help us get it. Fail in your love? Here’s another chance. Treat someone poorly? Try again. Falter in your faith? Here’s another moment of grace to help you build it up again. We can’t give up on ourselves just because it takes us a while to get it right. We can’t give up on others because they are taking a while. We need to remember that God isn’t giving up at all on any of us, ever.