Let’s be honest, shall we? Does anyone really like a rooster? The early morning “ererererer”. Not quite as cute as the “cock-a-doodle-do” we sing about in Old MacDonald. Roosters get a bad rap. They are the cause of disrupted morning sleep. In the gospels the rooster is the symbol of convicting denial.
The rooster’s crow can send shrills down a spine, and cause a heart to race as it highlights the story of the denial of Christ by one of his most beloved disciples.
Rooster moments are the moments when we allow fear to get the best of us. Rooster moments are the moments when we realize we made a poor decision, that desire of our flesh won for a time. We are not alone – the struggle is real. Even the Apostle Peter, whom Jesus said would be the man he would build his church
Mark 14:72 says, “And immediately the rooster crowed a second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” And he broke down and wept.
There are moments in each of our lives that we wish we could just redo. When the rooster crows we want to cower in humiliation and hide behind a tree. We would like to hop in a time machine and erase the words we said, the thing we did or the thing we didn’t do but know we should have.
I remember a very specific moment as a teenager that I had a rooster moment. A friend of mine point blank said to me, “I thought you were a Christian, I didn’t know it was okay for Christians to do this.” I remember playing it off like I was right. Like what I was about to do was no big deal. I turned against the truth I knew and convinced myself God would not have a problem with it. “It’s no big deal,” I said.
That day I made a choice. I made a choice to deny my relationship with Christ and prioritize my “in the moment” desire for relationship and intimacy. I chose to ignore God’s best for me and venture out on my own path of “what’s best in the moment.”
The next day, I was on a run and singing along to my high energy worship music like all was well and what had happened the night before was “no big deal”. As I ran, the conversation from the night before popped into my mind.
“I didn’t know it was okay for Christians to do this,” I heard again.
My pace turned from a 8:30 minute mile to sloth-like steps. My legs felt heavy. My heart pounded out of my chest and I fell to the ground in a heap on the sidewalk.
I couldn’t tell you the song zi was listening to, or anything else about the moment. All I remember is the voice.
The rooster crowed.
I had denied Christ’s best for me. I began sobbing. In that heap, curled up on the sidewalk, right there and then I asked to be forgiven for denying what I know to be God’s best for me.
But here is how good God is, even after we have denied him, Psalm 130:7 (NLT) says, “O Israel, hope in the LORD; for with the LORD there is unfailing love. His redemption overflows.”
A few years later, as a campus minister, God used that denial to fuel my passion to lead women to participate in campus wide small groups called “The Well”. These groups were formed to promote purity of heart, mind, body & soul. It was about this time that the voice that had been plaguing my mind – my own Rooster of denial – ceased.
This was an opportunity to use the mistakes of my past to be used for God’s glory. It was an opportunity to be the first one to stand up and say, “I was the one who chose my “in the moment” passion over God’s best for me. I was the one who denied Christ in an instant to satisfy my momentary longing. I denied Christ.”
I could also stand before the women I was ministering to and say, “Today I stand before you, proclaiming God’s best for me and for you. My denial, when confessed, was embraced by an all loving, ever forgiving Savior.He will do the same for you.”
God gave me a platform to walk alongside college women to help them see that they did not have to make the same choice I did, they did not have to have a rooster moment like me. God had something better for them.
Today the crowing rooster is a reminder of my transformation in Christ. The crowing rooster reminds me of all that God can use any mistake for His glory. I denied him that day long ago, but I have proclaimed him many more times. Satan would like to keep me focused on the denial instead of living in the freedom of my transformation and the lives that have been changed because of proclaiming his goodness and his best.
God wastes nothing. Not even denial.
So, I ask you, have you been through a Rooster moment? Have you denied the Father’s presence in your life before others? How has God used that moment for your growth and for His glory? Do you trust him with the transformation – that he can take the repented over rooster moment in your life – and use it to bring Glory to his name? Do you believe he can use it for your good?