What happens when the very thing you are good at or experienced in no longer works for you or you don’t see any result? What do you do when what once used to feed you and provide for you is now coming up empty? How do you try to move on with your life when you have experienced a deep loss from one who you denied ever knowing and never had the chance to make it right with before it was too late?
Well, you have breakfast on the beach with Jesus! That’s what you do. Lol. Don’t believe me? Let’s ask Peter, our bold, water-walking brother, who is well acquainted with the above situation. In John 21, we find 7 of the 12 disciples near the Sea of Galilee. This scene takes place after Jesus, who had walked with them and poured into them for 3 years was crucified. I am sure they were mourning this great loss and wondering what was next for their lives. After all, they had dropped everything and left everyone behind to follow Jesus and now that He was gone, they had nothing. Naturally, as is our human inclination, we often go back to the thing we once did, especially when we don’t know what to do. It’s familiar and since we have done it before with results, surely we can do it again right? However, below are 3 lessons I learned from this passage–which turned into a breakfast on the beach date with Jesus.
When Jesus had first called the disciples, He told them He was going to teach them how to be fishers of men, not fish (Matthew 4:19). In fact, the last 3 years of His life on earth, this is exactly what Jesus did. Essentially, Jesus had retired them from working by their own strength and own ways and called them into something new that required them to now work with Him in His strength and His ways. Yet, 3 years later, Jesus is crucified and they are alone without anything.
Experiencing loss doesn’t mean you give up on what God called you to do.Tweet
Jesus called out to them and said, “Come and follow Me, and I will transform you into men who catch people for God.”Matthew 4:19, TPT
The calling never changed. Although Jesus was not physically present with them in that moment, He had taught them enough in those 3 years that would help them to continue on in their calling. Yet, here they were, having returned to the very thing Jesus had called them away from instead of what He had called them to do.
Peter was the leader in the pack to return to his previous way of working, as he was the one who initiated the idea to go fishing. As the others followed suit, they found themselves doing what they knew to do well, surely expecting the same results. However, after toiling all night, what once worked for them was no longer working.
So they went out and fished through the night, but caught nothing.John 21:3, TPT
As I read this verse, the song Waymaker comes to mind, specifically this part of the lyrics:
Even when I don’t see it, You’re working. Even when I don’t feel it, You’re working. You never stop. You never stop working.
Our Waymaker, Jesus, stepped on the scene at dawn (v. 4), after they had toiled all night in their own strength and using their own methods. He gave them some specific instructions–to throw their net on the right hand side–to get what they had been toiling all night for (v. 6) and they immediately saw results. What is interesting is that in Matthew 4:19, right after Jesus called them to follow Him, v. 20 says they left their nets at once and followed Him. Yet, in John 21, they went back and picked up the nets they had previously left behind. The disciples, however, weren’t looking for Jesus.
Listen for His voice and His instructions. He has answers to solve the problems we have.
Jesus met Peter at the place where He first found him–working–and He provided for him and those around him in abundance (v. 6). It was as if God was giving him a reset, saying, “Peter, here I am again, where I first met you, on the Sea of Galilee. This time, however, instead of Me calling you to come, you came to Me. Let’s start over.” As you will see if you read further down in John 21, the Lord restored Peter the exact number of times Peter had denied Him–after He calls Peter to a breakfast date on the beach!
Working by His grace and methods leads to results and to a time of fellowship with Him over a meal He has prepared beforehand for us to be nourished and be at rest.
This time of breakfast at the beach with Jesus is a call to return to the things He has called you to do, to listen for His voice and instructions to solve the problems you have and, to allow Him to call you away to a time of fellowship, nourishment and rest.
I promise you won’t be disappointed!
Scripture references: The Holy Bible (TPT, NLT)
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