“Simon Peter announced, “I’m going fishing.” John 21: 3
I don’t know who this post is for but someone out there needs to apply the brakes!
The above verse is from one of my favorite stories in the Bible. I suppose, because it’s not so much about fishing, as it is about the recommissioning of a man who had blown it—and I mean big time!
This is a story about Peter, the guy who regularly put foot in mouth. The “disciple” who basically thought, “Oh, no Jesus, I’ll never desert you. Not me! No way. I’m your go-to guy.”
And then, he folded.
When the time came to stand up—he didn’t.
Most of us know the story. Jesus gets arrested, hauled before His enemies and accusers, and when a young girl comes to Peter, and says, “You’re one of His guys, right?” Peter denies that he ever knew Jesus.
Are you really ready?
You know why I love this story so much?
Because it’s a story about ALL of us!
We’ve all blown it sometime, somewhere, and just like Peter, Jesus knew we would.
There’s nothing like “kissing the pavement” to give you a good reality check about all your so-called spirituality.
Perhaps we all need that from time to time—just to keep us honest and authentic. But, just because we fall on our face? It doesn’t mean Jesus is done with us, anymore than He was finished with His fishing sidekick, Simon Peter.
Jesus knew who Peter was. Jesus knew Peter was going to blow it. But, He also knew Peter would become His “comeback disciple,” after, he had learned all the painful lessons he needed.
Beginning again can sound so easy, but when you’re staring at all the wreckage after the storm? Honestly? You need time.
Time to heal. Time to take stock. And, perhaps most importantly?
You need time to get alone with God.
It takes a tremendous toll on your heart to take that big risk, work like crazy, pray your knees raw, but still, have everything come crashing down, and lose it all.
All snazzy and jazzy encouragement aside, it isn’t easy to start over after you’ve put everything you had into your dream, only to see it float away in the aftermath of a storm.
So, now what?
I must have asked myself that question hundreds of times after my business closed.
I was exhausted, hurting, deeply discouraged, and very angry.
All the wreckage of failure looked overwhelming.
(And, God? He was silent at first.)
Me? I was in no mood for somebody’s cute pep talk.
Yes, I definitely needed, a time out.
The crucial “time out”…
I had always seen myself as a “go-to girl” who knew how to sort out any mess.
Trouble was, this time, I was the “mess”!
I had to face some hard facts.
I needed to give myself lots of patient compassion… and TIME, for major life triage.
The “well” in my soul, felt like it had gone dry a long way back, and I knew I was in trouble, trying to “run on” on an empty tank.
(Maybe that isn’t what you were hoping to hear.)
But, the thing is, you check out what the experts do in the aftermath of a destructive storm:
- First they look for the wounded, right?
- This time around, that was me.
- Then they try to restore essential services.
- This is always God’s M.O. (Read story of Elijah under the broom tree!)
- After that, removal of the mountains of debris.
- Pure common sense! Clearing away the rubble is the next step.
- Then, after all of that is accomplished, then they formulate a plan to rebuild.
So, whoever God has interrupted my series for, to write this post?
I have this to say, “It’s not possible to run on empty!”
A time out isn’t lazy, or failure, or wasted time… it’s WISDOM.
There’s a lot to do–before, beginning again.
After rest and triage–vision for the little bits
Remember the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand?
He asked his disciples to figure out the solution and they came back to Him with,
Are you looking around at your “little bits of this and that” and thinking, “What can someone like me, do to change this world, now?”
(I used to say that… a lot.)
Before I started blogging, I was convinced there was little I could do to really make much of a difference in someone else’s life.
My dreams looked to be long dead and gone. All I had left, were scraps and leftovers, and I kept thinking, “What can I do with so little?”
Failure can really mess with your vision for what is possible.
God can work miracles with your “little”
What can God do with just five loaves and two fish?
Jesus said, “Bring them here.” Then he had the people sit on the grass. He took the five loaves and two fish, lifted his face to heaven in prayer, blessed, broke, and gave the bread to the disciples. The disciples then gave the food to the congregation. They all ate their fill. They gathered twelve baskets of leftovers. About five thousand were fed. Matthew 14:18-21 The Message
So maybe your “little” is looking mighty small to you right now.
(That isn’t a problem for Jesus!)
He says the harvest field is waiting–but the workers are few.
Is His harvest waiting on you?
Think about it.
What might you do with your little bits of this and that?
When Jesus asks…
“Do You Love Me?” after breakfast, remember?
Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Master, you know I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
He then asked a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
“Yes, Master, you know I love you.”
Jesus said, “Shepherd my sheep.”