The boat rocked gently, and water sloshed onto his feet. He was trying to focus. Really he was.
But his heart was focused on other things. Things he needed to say. Things he needed to make right.
The invisible hand around his soul wouldn't let go, and the last two times he saw Jesus, its hard grip only tightened.
Peter squinted against the blinding sun as the rays of light bounced from one wave to the next, like children playing a game. Another sleepless night with no catch.
Peter looked towards the shore. A man stood there alone... This was starting to feel very familiar.
The man cupped his hands around his mouth. "Children, do you have any fish?"
"No," James yelled out.
"Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some."
Without hesitation, they cast the net. Without delay, the net was filled.
John stood up so fast, the boat shock mightily. He pointed. "It is the Lord!"
Peter stood up, his heart pounding. Jesus. That was Jesus! He tossed aside his cloak, barely thinking about what he was doing. He could hear the others shouting their joy, and a couple of them realized what he was doing, and shouted for him to stop, but he wasn't going to stop. Seconds later, the cool waves greeted him. Kicking his feet, his head bobbed to the surface, and he began slicing through the water. He needed new last words.
Based on John 21:4-7
The concept of last words kept coming to my mind over the last week or two. The very last, meaningful thing you say to a person you love. When I think about these types of things, I always think about my grandmother. When I was sixteen, my grandmother went to be with Jesus. It was a really rough time for our family. She was the matriarchal glue that held all the different fractions of our family together.
One of the most traumatic parts of this situation for me was that I couldn't remember the last thing I said to her. Did I say I love you? See you later? Thanks for everything you've done? The dog keeps licking my pants? I don't have a clear memory, and it's haunted me every since.
Because of this, I've also been thinking of people who had dramatic last words in the Bible. The first person who came to mind was Peter. His last words about Jesus was a denial of everything they had shared. It was more then just denying his friend. It was denying his Savior! I know I've talked about Peter a bunch of times... Oh well. There's just so much there!
I think Peter was a little bit desperate for those words not to be the last words spoken directly between him and Jesus. Think about it. The man ran everywhere trying to be the first to see Jesus! He loved Jesus. When Peter saw Him on the shore, he went overboard so that he could get there quickly! He wasn't even willing to wait for the boat.
This was the third time Jesus had revealed Himself to the disciples, but Peter still had to wait for that cleansing moment. When it finally came though, it wiped away all the other junk...
We can't always take back those last words. We don't always find closure. We can control what we say in the here and now. We can use it for words of love and affirmation. Most importantly, we can use our words to bless God.
What would your last words to God be? That's a sobering thought? Have we even spoken to Him today? Did we bless Him? Thank Him? Tell Him we love Him? Do you remember the last thing you said to the Lover of your Soul?
"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer." Psalm 19:14
If you keep that at the front of your mind, they will always be good ones.
V. Joy Palmer