Loud & Clear
“Please be quiet! I need to go to sleep! I have to get up early! Please stop!”
This was going around in my head the other night around 2:00am.
All I wanted was some peace and quiet from the unrelenting noise of the neighbor’s peacock!
Who knew that such a majestic animal, created by God, could make such an annoying sound. I couldn’t take it anymore! I woke my husband up, who happens to be a mighty hunter, to see if he could “fix” my problem.
Yes, I was contemplating shooting our neighbors pet. Anyways, He simply looked at me, smiled, and gently said, “Honey, read your Bible if you can’t sleep.”
In tired frustration, I opened my Bible to John 18:27. I was taken back when I read, “Peter then denied Christ again; and immediately a cock crowed.”
Suddenly, Peter and I were in the same loud and obnoxious situation. For Peter, his “cock crowing” resounding loudly that night throughout his town and also throughout the halls of history. He had loudly denied Jesus…he had messed up.
I began to think about who Peter was…
He was a disciple of Jesus, who was there when He calmed the storm, fed the five thousand, and healed the sick. He was with Jesus when Moses and Elijah appeared before them. Peter even tried walking on water for a while. After all of these personal experiences with Jesus, how could he deny his Master, not once, but three times?
Peter’s story is real. It is personal. Peter is me. Peter is you. Peter is us.
That’s what makes his story relatable. Peter’s story is our story. It is the story of grace, of love, and of renewal.
After Peter’s denial, something changed. He felt more like “unstable sand” then the “unmovable rock” that Jesus has spoken over him in Matthew 16:18. That’s why he went outside and wept after his denial. He ran away in shame because he knew who and what he was; a sinner in need of forgiveness.
He had failed and he knew that feeling all too well. So, Peter returned to the familiar, to forget his embarrassing past and his failures. He went back to being a fisherman. What happens his first night back on the water? The professional fisherman catches nothing! Once again, Peter had failed as a follower and again as a fisherman.
Nothing good was happening to Peter, he must have felt awful, like a complete failure. Suddenly, a voice calls out to the fishermen from the shore.
Looking up from their empty fishing boat, the Man, Jesus, calls out in John 21:5-7, “Friends, have you caught any fish? Throw your net on the right side and you will find some.” Peter acted in instant obedience by picking up the nets and tossing them on the right side… and what a catch! The NEW Peter was born! Peter had been healed, restored, and forgiven.
At that moment, I realized that our story is a lot like Peter’s. How many times have we doubted or even denied God?
When things are going fine, we are dedicated to God. However, our story changes when the storm rages in our lives. Each of us have stumbled, even become stuck in an endless rut like Peter. Nevertheless, Jesus is reaching out to us, ready to pick us up, and empower us to become a solid rock!
No matter how loud our past speaks, our future will always speak louder with His love and forgiveness.
The love of God reaches us even when we have made mistakes. Isaiah 43:18 (MSG) says, “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand new.” We have the assurance that God is doing something brand new in our life, even when we have made mistakes.
Something brand new happened for Peter when he stepped forward to preach on the day of Pentecost. His past was flawed and full of embarrassments. But, with the love and forgiveness of Jesus, Peter’s present actions spoke louder than his past mistakes.
Suddenly, I heard the peacock screeching even louder. However, this time my heart was filled with joy because I knew my past mistakes were drowned out by the loud and clear sound of my present victories.
About the Author:
Michelle and her husband, Jesse, are full time Pastors at The Place Church. Jesse and Michelle co-founded The Place, a Word of Faith Church, in December of 2013. She has ministered in churches throughout North America. Her passion is that all ages come to know Jesus and have a greater and deeper knowledge of Him.
Michelle received her Degree from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia in Christian Ministry. Both her and her husband are graduates of Jerry Savelle’s School of Ministry and are licensed and ordained by JSMI (Dr. Jerry Savelle’s Ministry) in Crowley, Texas. Michelle and her husband are also the directors of Centershot Archery, Feet of Faith Dance, and Christian Paintball Ministries, which is located in Hamilton, Montana.