A Redeemed Life for Little Wife
One Sunday morning in April, Glorie Christos (who used to be known as Little Wife) sat down in her usual place in the church auditorium. She looked around at the gathered congregation wishing she could somehow connect. She noticed there was a guest speaker, actually the former pastor of the church. After a good time of singing and worship, it was time for the message from this pastor whose name was Dave. She opened up her Bible to John 21, and readied her journal for taking copious notes as she always did. But the words Pastor Dave spoke were going so very deep into the heart of Glorie Christos that she couldn’t write down the three-point outline or the details of the sermon.
She listened to the story of Simon Peter, the disciple of Jesus, the one who had denied Him on the night of his arrest. Three times Peter said, “I don’t know Him.” This big, strong fisherman had earlier bragged that he would die with Jesus if necessary. But just as Jesus told him how it would happen, out of fear Peter denied the Lord. His fear of the people was greater than his attachment to the Lord. He was broken-hearted for how he had let down his Lord and believed that he had no value. His sorrow was overwhelming. He cried for the loss of trust, the loss of stature, the loss of worth in ministry. To Peter, it felt like there was nothing left to do except go back to fishing with the guys again.
And yet, the Lord Jesus Christ was very merciful to Peter.
Peter and the disciples looked towards shore on that early dawn and saw Someone standing there, beckoning them, asking if they had caught any fish. Of course, they hadn’t caught a single one.
“Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some,” the Someone called out. The “disciple whom Jesus loved” heard those words and said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Peter jumped into the water and swam and ran ashore as fast as he could. There was Jesus with breakfast cooking on an open fire.
After everyone had eaten their fill, Jesus asked Peter, “Simon, do you love me more than these?” Peter answered, “Yes, of course, I love you.”
“Feed my lambs.” And Jesus asked Peter a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” And Peter answered again, “Yes Lord, you know I love you.”
“Tend my sheep.” Jesus asked a third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved at this, “Lord, you know everything; you know I love you.”
And Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.”
Glorie Christos listened to these familiar words, but they seemed new on this Sunday morning. These words from Jesus were speaking straight to the pain in her soul. Three times Peter had denied Jesus on the night of his crucifixion. And now three times, Peter was given the chance to reaffirm his love for the Lord.
His repentance led to his restoration and then to his re-commissioning. He was valuable to God. He had important work to do. The Lord God Almighty had brought purpose out of Peter’s pain.
Glorie Christos had sinned in her life even as a saved, born again believer in Christ. Her abusive marriage to Big Man had devastated her and brought much pain to her children, and to their father, Freddie. Ultimately the greatest pain had been that as Little Wife, she had made an idol out of Big Man and had paid a terrible price for believing his lies. Yes, she had been deceived, but she had also deceived others. Yes, she had suffered all forms of abuse at the hands of Big Man and others, but she had dealt out her own share of trouble and destruction along the way.
At the conclusion of his sermon, Pastor Dave announced a gracious invitation. Anyone who needed to be restored to fellowship with God could now come forward for prayer. Glorie Christos sprang out of her chair. THIS was the moment for restoration and forgiveness and true healing that she had been needing for so long. With tears streaming down her cheeks, she explained herself to a young woman named Rachel and bowed her head for the most beautiful prayer.
When she finally lifted her eyes, she was truly free. “Thank you, Jesus,” she whispered. “I am free to serve you in all righteousness and love for the rest of my days. You’ve forgiven me for my sin, You are healing my hurts and giving purpose to my broken life. I am redeemed and restored. I will follow You, Jesus and I will feed Your sheep. By Your grace, I will care for and minister to other women who know the pain and isolation of abuse. I will remind them everyday that You love them and have a better plan for their lives. I will listen to their stories, and help them and pray for them. I know you have promised to turn all things for good to those who love You and are called according to Your purpose. This will be for their good and for Your glory, Lord Jesus Christ forever.”
Or maybe just the beginning….
God’s grace and peace, his presence and leading be with you as you go, Glorie Christos.