When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs." Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep." The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my sheep." John 21:15-17, NIV
The other day when I was reading My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers, he was talking about how deeply Jesus must have hurt at Peter's betrayal (He denied Jesus three times). For years I thought about how much Peter hurt--both when he heard the rooster crow that third time and when Jesus reminded him by asking Peter three times if he loved Him. How blind I was not to have thought about Jesus being hurt by it too!
I wonder sometimes how many times I've hurt Jesus. I've messed up so many times. You would think at this age (pushing seventy) I would stop disappointing Him, but I know I still do. My heart hurts when I know I've saddened Him again. Worse, I know as hard as I try, I won't ever be perfect.
Now, the bright side...He knows that, and He loves me anyway. No matter how badly I mess up or how many times, He loves me anyway. And He forgives me. And one more time, He asks me to feed His lambs. And one more time, I try.
What do you do?