The Gospel of John (Chapter 21) inspired this (very) short story…and the thoughts that followed.
The sea is calm this morning, the sun bright with early rays. It is a beautiful day for sailing, not so much for fishing. I scan the horizon, my hands covering my eyes against the glare from the water. I’m not sure what I’m hoping to see, we are floating on gentle swells but my thoughts are like a storm within me.
“Where did He go? I wonder, half mumbling under my breath. The others with me take notice but offer no questions of their own, at least out loud. I went fishing to clear my head but it seems all I’m doing is fishing for answers. He was with us…reassuring us, allowing Thomas to touch His wounds and then…gone again.
Where did He go? Why was He coming and going like the wind? Is He coming back? I hate doubting like this, but the questions rolling like an angry sea within me need the Master’s touch…need His peace.
Where is He?
My questions are interrupted by faint, familiar voice calling from the shore…
“Children…did you catch anything?”
Many of you reading are very familiar of this story in John (I still encourage you to read it) and the powerful stories contained in this chapter. However, as I read this I was struck with a thought. During those times of appearing and disappearing…I wonder…
Where did Jesus go?
I mean, it seems that Jesus is just randomly popping in and out of the disciple’s lives. He’s there one moment and then…He vanishes…where does He go? Did you ever wonder that? Am I the only strange one who thinks this is a bit particular? I’m thinking the disciples thought so…at least Peter seems to. Perhaps not knowing if he should wait around for the Master, he makes a decision…to go fishing.
He decides to go back to what was comfortable, he finds no comfort.
He decides to go back to what was profitable, he finds no profit
They have come full circle, this is where Jesus first met them and He is going to reaffirm their calling. He helps them finally understand that they can’t return to what was and find what they need. Following Him is the only way now: fishing at His command is the only true method for capturing the souls of a lost world. How does He do that? He starts with feeding them breakfast…He serves them again…showing the way they need to lead.
What does this mean to me? What is Jesus asking on the shores of my heart? I believe the same thing He asked of the disciples.
I don’t know where Jesus went in between visits to the disciples but I know there are times I ask the same question that I think Peter might have. Moments when I wonder where He is…or where did He go? The stormy circumstances sometimes make me seek out diversions, distractions or things I think will comfort me. I try the old “in my own strength” thing and find out that it just isn’t worth it.
“Jay…did you catch anything?”
My answer is always no (except for maybe trouble) …then He shows me how it works when I rely on Him…I catch more than I hoped for! The truth is that Jesus doesn’t go anywhere but we do try to sail away at times. I am grateful for a Master who knows where I am, where I need to go and is thrilled to lead me.
Where is He? Right by your side.
“Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age."