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Did You Hear that Rooster Crow?

LUKE 22: 54-62

I used to live in a small town and it was just an accepted fact that some of the neighbors had “chicken yards.” And if there was a chicken yard there was usually a rooster living with the hens and it was that rooster’s job to wake everyone up at the crack of dawn. He was prompt and proud of his job and took the responsibility very seriously–crowing loud and long! I loved to hear that raucous early morning wake-up call! And I will every so often be in a place where I hear a rooster crow and it brings back fond memories.

I wonder… what memories came to Peter’s mind every time he heard a cock crow? Bad memories, right? The lies; the look of sorrow that Jesus gave him; the vulgar oaths that spewed out of his mouth. And I’m sure the thought would sometimes come, “If only I could live that night over again.” You don’t erase such an emotional experience from your memory bank. The scripture tells us that Peter went out and “wept bitterly,” something that the Peter we know certainly would never do!

I imagine that your “image” of Peter, the “Rock,” is much like mine. He was a fisherman so he was–of necessity–strong, tenacious, courageous and intelligent. He was an expert when it came to reading the wind, the water, and the weather. His buddies were rough, tough men and cursing was part of their vocabulary. I see Peter as a “hulk” with a muscular body, a heavy beard and lots of matted hair. His eyes were penetrating and quick and ranged the horizon constantly and easily. His skin was like leather from the hours spent on the water in all kinds of weather, and he had no problem in communicating his opinions!

Yes, those bad memories were there. But there were other memories for Peter. Remember the time when they had all gone fishing (John 21: 3-7) and through the misty first light of day they saw a Man standing on the beach. John recognized Him first and said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” With that announcement Peter threw on his clothes, jumped in the water fully dressed and impetuously ran splashing through the water to Jesus! When they were all on shore they found that Jesus had a charcoal fire going and He cooked some of the huge catch of fish (153) for them (John 21: 9-13). Good memories.

All of this to say that we all probably have memories that come when “the cock” crows and we remember the times when we denied that we knew Him simply by our actions or vehement, hurtful words. That’s not bad. We need to be reminded of those shameful times, but the other memories are there, too. When we came to Him and He took us and loved us and forgave us; His constant presence with us; the words of encouragement that He has given to us and continues to give us. Oh yes, we have memories just like Peter and when we hear the cock crow, those memories come back with all of the emotions. But we must not let that guilt and shame linger in our minds. Go on. Remember the wonderful things, too, and let that rooster motivate you to praise our Lord for His gift of love, His forgiveness, and His pride in us as His beloved children. Maybe one of these days we’ll get a chance to jump out of the boat, splash pell-mell through the water, and run eagerly to Him. Just maybe. Good memories.

“For I live in eager expectation and hope

that I will never do anything that will cause

me to be ashamed of myself but that I

will always be ready to speak out boldly for

Christ while I am going through all these trials here,

just as I have in the past,

and that I will always be an honor to

Christ, whether I live or whether I must die.

For to me, living means opportunities

for Christ, and dying – well,

that’s better yet.”

Philippians 1:20-21 – TLB

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.