- John 21:17 (NKJV) He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.
Peter was grieved…
I’ll never get over sharing the journey with my sister as she walked the road of cancer and finally succumbed to that terrible disease when God called her home on June 10, 2008. I remember thinking at her funeral service, “So this is how grief feels.”
Of course, I had experienced grief before with the loss of grandparents and friends and had ministered faithfully to parishioners for many years as they went through times of grief. However, it was only until I went through the dark valley of cancer with my dear sister that grief truly, truly became personal.
As a result, ever since that dark season of the soul I have had a deeper level of empathy and care for others that are going through the valley of the shadow of death. In other words, when grief moved to a deep personal level I become a better person and pastor.
I had to learn a lesson that Peter had to learn: Until it becomes personal, you are not qualified to minister and lead.
If you will remember, Peter had cowardly betrayed Jesus three times. Amazingly, Jesus forgave him and commissioned him to lead his church. However, he did not do so until he walked Peter through a process of repentance and restoration that moved Peter from an intellectual and surface acknowledgement of wrong-doing and surrender to a deep, passionate, gut-level surrender.
Peter was grieved…
Dear friend, God will keep pounding away at you until it gets personal. Whether it is marriage, parenthood, a job, serving in your church or community: until what you do gets deep down personal to the point that you’re body, soul and mind are committed you are not really ready to serve and lead.
Bottom line, whatever you do, don’t short-circuit the “pounding” of the Savior…He’s not angry with you, He is trying to prepare you for the next level of leadership and ministry that you were destined to walk in.