More Than These

So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?"
He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You."
He said to him, "Feed My lambs."
He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?"
He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You."
He said to him, "Tend My sheep."
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. Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish." This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, "Follow Me."
The question that Jesus asks me today is: "Do you love me more than these?" It is not a question that one answers trivially. But I know that the passage I read today was meant for me. It has been a barren period of time in my life. In a familiar song it says:
But it goes against the way I am
to let my human nature down
and let the Spirit take control of all I do.
Cause when those trials come
my human nature shouts the things to do
and God's soft prompting
can be easily ignored.
There has been so much pride, so much self in my life. it almost seemed like a shackle I was unable to free myself from. Much as I told myself of the need to be free of them, they bind themselves ever tighter, and I find myself without strength of will to overcome them. Yet now I know in full how weak I am. The guilt that comes with failure saps my strength like a leech and I forget how valuable a human life is. Yet today Jesus asks me if I love Him. After so much futility I whisper "Lord You know I do." It is not a proclaimation of my love and how much I offer, but one of my need, and how little I have to give. Jesus asks Peter thrice not because He doubted Peter. He did not do it to make Peter feel bad for denying Him three times. He did it, so that for every denial Peter uttered, it was restored with an utterance of Peter's love for Christ. I need that restoration in my life, in every aspect, every facet. And I feel a gentle hand guiding me, not chiding me for my mistakes. Because His love covers all sins.
I hope that all of you who read this will find out for yourselves the fullness of Jesus Christ. The depth and the height of His love. And somehow I hope that in my own proclaimation of need, you may see that people do need the Lord.
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