One day, a truck burning diesel fuel passed us, and the smell of the diesel reminded me of two events many years ago. When I was a little boy, some of my aunts lived on a road beside a big canal in the Netherlands. Whenever my mother would go there to visit one of these aunts, she would take me along on the back of her bicycle, and I would spend hours watching the boats go by. At that time, these were flat-bottomed boats which were used to haul cement, sand, manure, soil, coal, and other bulk materials. It was a very good way to get goods transported from one place to another. These ships were powered by diesel engines, and whenever one went by, I could smell the diesel fumes in the air.
Many years later, as a teenager growing up in the town where we now live again, I was coming around the corner at the main intersection in town on my bicycle. In those days, the Greyhound bus still stopped there. There was a bus sitting there, with the engine idling as the passengers got on and off the bus. The minute the diesel fumes hit me, I saw the boats going along the canal some 5,000 miles away, and me as a little four-year-old sitting on the bank of the canal watching them go by. I had a real, genuine flashback.
There are quite often events which trigger certain memories. That made me think of Jesus and Peter:
Luke 22:54-55 – Having arrested Him, they led Him and brought Him into the high priest's house. But Peter followed at a distance. Now when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. (NKJV)
Three different people asked Peter if he was one of the followers of Jesus, and three times, he vehemently denied that he even knew Him.
Luke 22:60b-62 – Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." So Peter went out and wept bitterly. (NKJV)
Memories! What a strange sensation it is to suddenly remember the past. All of a sudden, things will come back into your mind, things that you had perhaps not thought about for years. I would not be surprised if Peter remembered how he had denied Jesus every time he heard a rooster crow.
We have many opportunities to tell people that we love Jesus, that we believe in Him as Saviour and Lord. May we never, ever have to deal with the memory of denying that this is so.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, there are so many people who need to know about You and Jesus. We pray that we will always have the desire and the ability to tell others about You, each one of us in our own way. May we never have occasion to regret that we did not do so. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Tell Me The Stories Of Jesus" (Lyrics)