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WHEN “WHAT’S NEXT” IS TOO OVERWHELMING
What’s next? Is a question that confronts us from time to time. When you’re done doing the things that should be done, when you achieved something, when you finally got your degree in college, when you made a mistake, when you lost someone, when you had your heart broken, when your most cherished friendship is over, when you let go of something you have loved and fought for a very long time, what’s next?
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, you’re not alone. There are some servants of God in the bible who struggled with this question too. After Peter repented from denying Jesus three times, he probably asked himself of this too. After Jesus died and he lost a friend and a leader, everything suddenly became uncertain for him too. Because of the overwhelming feeling of uncertainty, he decided to go back to fishing.
When Peter Went Back to Fishing (John 21:1-17)
“I am going to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. -John 21:3
The first time Jesus met Peter was when he was a fisherman, but he was invited to go with him and be a fisher of men. But when Jesus had to die on the cross of calvary for the forgiveness of our sins, Peter was devastated. He decided to go back to being a fisherman because maybe he thought he is no longer worthy of the calling that the Lord has given him. But the most heartbreaking part was when he went back, there was nothing.
The net was empty, so was they. There was nothing to go back to. Then Jesus came again.
5He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”
“No,” they answered.
6 He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. 8 The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. 9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.
10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead. – John 21:5-14
Peter found himself caught by God’s love and grace once again. Jesus never brought up his past nor his mistakes at all. Instead, he saw that they’re tired and hungry and prepared breakfast for them. He even reinstated Peter. He showed him that his worth didn’t change just because he made a mistake. He reminded him of his calling.
What Can We Learn From The Life Of Peter?
Process- the Lord allowed Peter to experience all of the things he went through just for him to see what love, grace and forgiveness really looks like. In this way he molded his character and taught him how to love, to be gracious and to forgive others by setting an example. Sometimes God allows difficult times in our lives too because he wants us to be the person, he destined us to be. You just have to trust him all throughout the process.
Progress-Peter learned that going back to the place where God removed you from is never an option. You’ve come this far my dear, you’re about to finish the race, please do not give up. Continue moving forward no matter how uncertain the future may be. As long as you allow God to lead you all throughout the journey, you will surely be fine.