I don’t talk about what I’m about to talk about today a lot. I’ve written about it once. I basically vowed to never write about it again, because it doesn’t really effect my life anymore… unless God wants to show me something…. like today… so here I am.
I was like Peter, I told Jesus I would do anything for Him. And then my life got turned upside down. I was date raped in college (so like 20 years ago) . To this day it is still one of the worst days of my life. My perspective on so many things got warped, and this began a dark period in my life.
Everything I believed was flipped upside down. And I did what I always said I would never do. I walked away from my faith.
What’s funny is I always remembered the name of the street that it happened on. It is a street I have driven on more than a few times since then.
But before we get there…
I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 62:2
Peter. He told Jesus He would die with Him. He told Him even if everyone left Him, he wouldn’t. (John 13:37) Jesus tells him that before the rooster crows, Peter would deny Him three times.
And he did. Three times. Right as Jesus was on trial.
I wonder if in that moment if Peter remembered his promise to Jesus, and thought to himself, But I didn’t think it would be like this. I didn’t think He would be on trial about to be crucified. I didn’t think it would be this hard, this costly. That’s not what I meant when I said I was ready to die for you.
This had to have been a dark time for Peter. I mean him and Jesus were close! And he had completely blown it. He did exactly what he said he would never do.
“Do you love me?”
But what Peter didn’t know when he locked eyes with Jesus was that in 3 days He would be resurrected. He had a second chance.
And sometimes we may feel like we have fully blown it. Sometimes we walk away from our faith. Sometimes we deny the God who we claim we would never turn our back on.
See, we can mess up, and we do mess up. But no matter how much our faith is shaky and can feel more like we are in sinking sand, than on a solid rock, that doesn’t change His faithfulness.
So Jesus is resurrected. He comes back to life! Peter gets a second chance. And he gets a moment alone with Jesus.
Do you love me? Jesus asks.
But see here, Jesus isn’t asking Peter if he just loved Him. He asked him if He agape loves Him. In the most sacrificial way. In a way Jesus was challenging Peter’s previous commitment to Him. I am ready to die for you.
Yes, Jesus I love you like a brother.
Hmmm…. that’s not what Jesus asks.
Then feed my sheep.
Do you love me in the deepest, most spiritual, sacrificial way possible?
Yes, Jesus, I love you like a brother.
Hmmm… Peter still isn’t getting it.
Then tend my sheep.
One more time, but Jesus changing the question slightly. Do you love me in a brother like way?
Yes Jesus, you know I love you like a brother.
Peter was committing to Jesus in the way he knew how, at that time. He wasn’t making empty promises that he would turn his back on again.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
Today I had to go pick something up in the town I went to college in. And my GPS lead me on the road that I was raped on. I want to preface this by saying, I know tht God never left me. I know He was always there providing my needs (even if I didn’t reach out for it at the time). What happened today was more of what I needed for today.
As I said, I always remembered the name of the road. As I said, I have been on it before. But today I noticed the name of the street. I have never really noticed it before. Like noticed it to the depth of my core.
I cried. I cried because how true it is. It is His promise. It is His truth. God has always been my Shelter, my Rock. No matter if it was the darkest time, or the best time. This was His confirmation that He has always been there. He. Has. Always. Been. There.
He is my Rock. He is my Shelter. He is my Fortress. He is my God.
Have I been your Rock?
Have I been you Shelter?
Have I ever failed you?
Do you still believe I am good, despite your circumstances being good?
Do you love me?
These are the questions He will ask us. These are the things we need to respond to when He challenges our commitment. And if we say Yes. Then His response us will be…
Go feed me sheep.
Yes Jesus. I’ll feed your sheep. Because you are my Shelter. You are my Rock. You are God. And You have always been there. Always.