Okay, I may have mentioned in previous posts that I wake up every morning with a song in my mind. It's a different song each day. Usually, it's something motivational. Often times, it's Gospel or Contemporary Christian. This morning was different and a bit odd. Jimmy Buffet's "Margaritaville" is STILL, to this very moment, reverberating through my skull. "What could possibly be the message hidden inside this song?", I asked myself. So, while fixing my coffee this morning and chatting with my woman before she left for work, it hit me. Thinking of the three times Jimmy visits his hook, you see slight differences at the end. He goes from "it's nobody's fault", to "hell, it could be my fault", to "it's my own damn fault!" Jimmy went three times to the hook, before the recognition of Truth.
From there, my mind went to Peter and a couple of situations where "three times" is relevant, or at least relevant to me. In John, 13;38, Jesus tells Peter, "Really dude? You're gonna lay your life down for Me? Pete, by the time the rooster crows, you will have denied me three whole times, Bro! THREE WHOLE TIMES!" Later on, in the Awesome Word of God, we see the Word itself, come to pass. In chapter 18, verses 17 through 27, Jesus' prediction of Peter's denial comes to life. Just as Peter denies knowing Jesus for the third time, the roosters crows out, "Jesus told you soooooooooo!" At that moment, I'm sure Peter's heart sank. Truth had been confirmed and recognized in his third trip to the hook of his denial. One of the lessons here is that God's Word is Truth and it shall always come to pass. Now, how many times have certain truths, shared by your parents years ago, come about in different situations or even out of the mouths of your children?
Does it have to take three trips to the hook, in order for us to accept, admit, or acknowledge certain truths? For some of us, it only takes once or twice. For others of us, we're on our 103rd trip to the hook, and STILL plotting our next excuse. The sooner we make honesty with ourselves and about ourselves a natural habit and way of life, the sooner we make ourselves available to God's will. Again, His Word and Will shall always come to pass. Think about it! Jesus did not condemn Peter to hell, disavow him as a disciple, or ugly up his face as a permanent sign of infidelity. He simply moved on, knowing the plan for Peter. He did not call Peter to die for Him at the time of his crucifixion, as Peter might have, had he stood around that campfire, responding, "Yeah, I know Him! So what?" Again, it was not the Will of God, that Peter should die that night.
God's Will for Peter was revealed in a later instance of "three times." In John, chapter 21, verses 15 through 19, Jesus asked Peter three times, "Do you love me?" Peter answered, "Yes", each time. After each "yes", Jesus told Him, "Feed My lambs, take care of My sheep, and feed My sheep," respectively. This was the mission, to which Peter was called. He had work to do, and it was not work of grand standing or self-righteousness. He simply had to go out, into the fields, and care for God's flock. Once we've accepted the truth concerning ourselves, our lives, our mentalities and actions, we are able to look to God and ask, "What's Your plan for me, Lord? I am no longer making this about me. I am no longer claiming to know it all. Lord, God, lead the way."
Those who have ears, let them hear.......
Bryan Hollomon Williams