A long night's work and not one single fish has been caught.
Peter sits amongst his fellow disciples exhausted.
He is uncertain as to what he is to do next.
His mind overflows with the reflections from the past days… guilt and shame start to interrupt the truth of who he is…and whose he is.
Peter begins to lose sight of grace and simply resigns himself to believe this will be as good as it gets. As his belief begins to fade in doubt, his soul longs for refreshing.
The sun begins to rise on the still waters of the morning and Jesus is standing on the shore.
He calls out to the men asking a question he already knows the answer to…Jesus tells them to cast their nets on the right side of the boat and they will find some fish.
Peter did not recognize the man who shouted from the shore, but he knew they were desperate to try anything… so, they trusted this stranger and cast their nets. Suddenly, their nets were heavy and plentiful with fish.
Peter immediately jumps into the water and swims to Jesus. As he brings himself to walk onto the shore, he notices a charcoal fire with roasted fish and bread await them.
Jesus encourages the disciples to bring some of their fresh caught fish to add to the feast he has prepared. He lovingly invites them saying , “Come and eat breakfast.”
It was while standing next to a fire that Peter denied Jesus, and now standing next to this fire, Jesus will restore his beloved friend. It was by the first great catch that Peter began to follow Jesus, and now, this great catch was the process to healing all of Peter’s guilt and shame.
Even when we don't recognize who He is…even when we are desperate and empty…even when we finally look to Jesus as the last resort, He sets the table, He invites us in to take part in what He has prepared and created, and He draws in close. He restores us.
Jesus knew how to bring healing to Peter and remove his pain that blinded his belief. And Jesus knows how to bring healing to every area of our doubt, pain and disbelief.
Our love for Jesus must remain passionate and kindle a holy flame within our hearts. Our love for Him means accepting the honorable duty to tend to His lambs and sheep. Our love wills us to commit to do the work of God and remain faithful.
It is His love that restores our identity in Him and releases us from guilt and shame.
DO YOU BELIEVE?
~ Stefanie Rodriguez