September 20, 2021

Jesus Helps us Move Forward with Life

Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” (John 21:3)

I empathize with the disciples. I know what that feels like; what to do after a deep loss. Their leader and friend was crucified, no longer with them to lead or guide. They were saddened beyond words, feeling alone and afraid. They were not sure what they should do now or next so they returned to what they knew: fishing. By the time Jesus appeared on shore and spoke to them he knew they needed to be encouraged to stay true to their new life and different kind of fishing: not for fish but people.

When we have suffered a great loss, life has been upended, experienced something that has been emotionally wounding, physically challenging, or relationally devastating, our natural inclination might be to return to old ways, do those things that are comfortable, comforting and familiar. Not because we are being purposely difficult, resistant to change, or even disobedient to God, but because at the time it’s all we know to do. Our world has been shattered or altered and our most natural response is to reach for what was most familiar; something we can do that is automatic and we don’t need to think too hard.

Jesus stood on the shore and watched his disciples for some time before calling out to them. He knew the old life was not an option for them, but they were feeling lost and leaderless; perhaps not strong enough to pursue the new life without him. Wondering if it was even possible without him?

Such a gentle and wise Savior they, and we have. He knows exactly how to get us from where we are and help us move forward; he will not let us get stuck. He does not just tell us to keep going, leaving us to do it on our own or by ourselves, but is faithful to speak to us, encourage us to go, and then go with us. Jesus shows us but also builds us up, so we know we are indeed strong and courageous enough to move forward.

Yes, we know the old, and no, we don’t know the new so well, but we do know the Lord and he will never lead us where he has not gone before us and will never make us go without him. Let’s Pray

Dear God,
Today we (re)affirm this powerful promise over our mind, heart, and life. We release past ways and inclination of returning to that which is familiar due to any kind of loss in our life, even though the familiar is comforting, and we put our trust in you. Amen

Questions for Soul-Tending:
How will you affirm or reaffirm today’s Bible promise over your life or circumstances?
How will you make this promise part of your plan for self-care?

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