Watchman, what of the night?
The cock’s crowed thrice heralding the dawn.
Light may begin to streak across the sky
But deep and dark is the night that has filled my heart.
“Lord, I’m able and willing to die with You,
Though all forsake You, I will be with You,
You can count on me.”
All my boasting has been vain and empty.
I could have fought and died at Gethsemane,
But here… mocked, stripped, flogged?
There is nothing heroic or glorious about that.
No, I don’t know Him.
I am seeing Him for the first time.
I thought I knew You, Jesus, Son of God,
All I can say now is that Your ways are not as my ways
Nor are Your thoughts as my thoughts.
I stand at the edge of the dark empty abyss of my heart and search:
Where is love? I thought I’d show Him
There is no greater love than mine,
I am His friend, and I’ll lay my life on the line.
Oh that the earth would open and swallow me.
Where can I run from You, Father in Heaven,
Even in the deepest depths of hell and despair
Your right hand holds me and sustains me.
Who can I run to but You, Lord,
For You have the words of eternal life.
The cock crowed piercing the fog of fears, reminding me of my vows.
You lifted Your head and looked at me.
Every word of denial, You’d heard.
But Your eyes, my Lord, did not accuse me.
They offered me strength and hope.
Your eyes reminded me that You’d prayed
That my faith would not fail
And that I’d come forth as wheat separated from the chaff.
I weep, for now I know, that there is no love greater than Yours.
Yes, the dark night of despair is within me,
But the spreading light of dawning grace
Is showing me that I am a prodigal who has a home.
The cock has crowed and heralded a new day.
I never knew it, but I was one of those who sat in great darkness.
A great light has shined in my heart –
Lo, the Sun of Righteousness rises within me,
The dark kingdom of enthroned self and sin
Retreats in the light of Your glory,
And I find there’s a welcome into the kingdom of heaven
And comfort, grace and strength to make a fresh start.
“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow …
Isa 1:18 ESV
Peter’s three years with Jesus had not been in vain. He had ears to listen, and he listened. At the Last Supper that Jesus and His disciples had shared, Peter had taken hold of the words Jesus had spoken, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father… What I say isn’t said on my own. The Father who lives in me does these things.” John 14:9-10
Every parable that Jesus had told His disciples revealed the Father’s heart of grace. Every healing He performed revealed the Father’s heart to make whole and restore. Every person he blessed and sent on their way with the words, “Your sins are forgiven you, go and sin no more,” revealed the Father’s tender heart of mercy.
Peter’s name was originally Simon. A name which means, ‘He has heard’, and comes from the root word ‘shama’ which means ‘to hear, listen to, obey’. Simon Bar-Jonah had spent three years hearing, treasuring and submitting to the Word of God. Now he stood and acted upon the Word that was planted in his heart. God could be trusted. God would welcome him. God desired for him to come home. God was waiting for him, seeking for him.
Jesus had told the parable of the wise and foolish man. The foolish man thought everything was okay with him merely because he’d heard the word of God. The wise man however submitted to the word of God, acted upon it, obeyed it. The result was that when the storms came, the foundations held, and the house stayed standing.
There was a mighty storm which engulfed Simon the hearer and doer and he emerged from that storm as Peter, the one whose foundations stood firm upon the Rock.
Maybe today there is a storm in your life, caused by your own actions/words, and you don’t see how God can forgive you. Child of God, nothing can separate you from His love. To know His heart, look at the cross, look at Jesus. In Him you see the glory, the heart of God revealed. Jesus has prayed for you as he has prayed for Peter and me, that our faith should not fail.
Don’t let satan feed you with lies about God. In Jesus you see the Truth about God revealed. Let faith arise in your heart, and move you to the arms of God. It is only in the dark night of brokenness, bankruptcy and the sense of utter failure that the kingdom of God, heaven, light can dawn.
But for you who fear My name,
the Sun of Righteousness shall rise
with healing in its wings.
You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.
Mal 4:2 ESV