My son, who is almost three, is as clumsy as they come. He trips over his own feet, walks into stuff without looking and knows how to make a mess. Whenever he trips and falls, he says, “Oops! Try again.” Whenever he gets outside of the lines tracing letters on his Leap Pad and it makes him start over, he says, “Oops! Try again.” It makes me laugh every time. The other day I dropped something and it made a loud crash. He came running in there, looked at the mess, looked at me, smiled and said, “Oops! Try again.”
We could learn a lot from him. When he messes up, he doesn’t give up. He doesn’t let the mistake hold him back. He simply reminds himself to try again. Jesus spent a lot of his earthly ministry doing the same. When they brought Him the woman who had been caught in adultery, He said, “Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” One by one they left. When it was just her standing there, Jesus looked up and said, “Go and sin no more.” In essence He told her, “Oops! Try again.” She messed up badly, but He offered her the chance to try again.
I’m sure Peter went through some sleepless night after he denied knowing Jesus. He knew he was going to deny Him because Jesus told him it was going to happen. Not only did he deny knowing Jesus once, but he did it three times. After Jesus rose from the dead, He met Peter on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. He looked at Peter and asked, “Do you love me?” Peter responded, “You know I love you.” Jesus then said, “Then take care of my sheep.” In a way that only Jesus could do, He simply told Peter, “Oops! Try again.”
There is nothing you have done in this life that is so bad that Jesus won’t look at you and say, “Oops! Try again.” He understands that we will fail Him. He knows that we’re going to sin. He doesn’t sit there and hold it over our heads. Instead, He wants us to get back up, dust ourselves off, ask for forgiveness and then try again. The whole life of a Christian isn’t about being perfect. It’s about getting up and trying again after we fail. It’s about knowing the One who forgives and encourages us to try again.
Proverbs 24:16 says, “For the righteous falls seven times and rises again.” Being righteous doesn’t mean you won’t fall. It means you get back up and try again. If you’ve fallen and have thought that God wouldn’t take you back, let me encourage you to get back up and try again. If you haven’t been to church in forever, get back up and try again. If you think that the walls of the church would fall in if you walked in, get up and try. You couldn’t have done anything worse than to deny Jesus to His face after spending years with Him. If Jesus offered Peter the opportunity to try again, He’ll offer it to you.