They looked to me for leadership, even though I did not want it – didn’t deserve it; however, He was gone and I had been the one to lead. Gone! After three years of indescribable joy and happiness, now He was gone!
Those hours after his crucifixion were the lowest points of my life. All hope was gone, and for me …I believe I would have killed myself if He had not kept me from it. As much as I believed I would not deny Him and did, I believe just as much that I would have taken my life but didn’t because of His power over my life.
“I’m going fishing,” I said, and several agreed to go as well.
It felt so good to be doing something, anything, and fishing was our lives. We knew how to fish, but that night’s efforts proved hopeless as well. Nothing! Not one fish seemed to be in the entire sea!
It was now morning. The golden predawn light was growing all around us when we heard a voice telling us to cast our nets on the other side. I looked at John – we both knew it was the Lord, or at least thought so; and even before we cast the net, we could sense that the fish were there. The water seemed alive, as though every fish for several furlongs were swimming our way!
I looked up at Him standing there on the shore. I knew it was Him and he was looking into my soul. I had to go to Him – to get to Him as soon as possible.
As I stood before my Lord, the One whom I denied, I felt such hollowness in my heart. We stared at one another, my eyes full of anguish, His full of love, but the others were there now and I turned to help them. How could He love me now!
“Peter, do you love me?” Three times He asked me – three times, and each time the words cut deeper into my heart. How could I answer Him? How could I even say the words? Would they be true?
“Yes Lord, you know that I love you.” What else could I say? He was looking into my heart, and as his words cut deeper into my soul, they cut away my wounds and shame and doubts and worries. He was here, He would always be here, and He loved me! Three times, and each phrase brought greater understanding of who He is and how deep His loving forgiveness goes.
Yes, I would feed His people. I would shepherd them, and care for them, and lead them. I then knew that I would even die for Him!
I often wonder why I denied Him. I think back on that night as the lowest point of my life. I had become so proud, working with Jesus, as though the work was mine! He knew me, and He knew I trusted myself too much. That night, He showed me what I would do without His power, and I have vowed that I will never again lead my life. My life is nothing! He is everything!
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:3-5