Meet Jesus at the beach

Posted: June 2, 2011 in Life, Me and God, The Bible

From time to time, we experience what some call ‘spiritual highs’. A great Sunday morning service at church in which you felt God speaking to your heart; a worship event in which you felt ‘connected’ to God’s heart; a prayer meeting from which you saw God’s direct and undeniable answer; a time of fellowship where you knew experientially you had good friends who cared about you; a retreat, a marriage conference, the birth of your new baby and so on. You feel strong, you feel empowered, you can conquer the world. You feel like no problem can bring you down.

With that, it also often comes the ‘spiritual valley’. When things get back to normal. Life takes over, no more hype, no more passion. Time takes it toil as sometimes those ‘feelings’ get dissipated in the material world we live in. And often, this leads us to be vulnerable of attacks, to almost giving up on what kept us strong, and we go back to the old ways.

This is perhaps what happened to Peter in the 21st chapter of John. Just a couple of weeks ago, Jesus had died and rose again -the ultimate hype. He and the other disciples had seen Jesus alive and well a couple of times. Following Jesus’ instructions, Peter and the other disciples headed up to Galilee where they would meet Jesus at a mountain. But, for some reason, Peter decides to go back to his old trade; he says “I’m going fishing!”. The others join him.

May be his excitement and hype about the resurrection was slowing down. Maybe he got tired of waiting for Jesus at the mountain. May be Peter just wanted to take a break and clear his mind. Or maybe, he was being hunted by the guilt of his terrible mistake; the last time his eyes and Jesus’ crossed path before the crucifixion, Peter was denying Jesus –for the third time.

And then a great thing happens. Jesus calls them from the beach and invites them to enjoy the breakfast he had prepared for them. What a fun time of fellowship, friendship and brotherhood. It is at this time that they have the famous conversation “Peter, do you love me?”, “yes Lord, you know I love you”. Jesus replies “feed my sheep” -three times. I don’t think it is a stretch to consider that Jesus intentionally wanted to restore Peter using a similar conversation three times, in the same way Peter had denied Him three times.

There’s a lot we can learn and apply from this final chapter of John. One thing that came to mind as our men’s group was diving into it, was that often as vacation time comes, we tend to also take ‘spiritual vacation’. We are out of town, having fun with the family and slowly but surely, prayer and Bible and time with God take a second or third place. Unfortunately, this valley can proof to be dangerous in so many ways.

In this summer vacation time, it may be a good idea to have a plan, to have a strategy. To intentionally sit down and define how are we going to enjoy vacation while continuing a strong growing relationship with God. Perhaps, like the disciples, we may find Jesus at the beach –if we respond to His call. If we plan and make time to meet with Him even In the most unusual place and time, we will be able to enjoy His friendship, His love, His guidance and, like Peter, even His restoration from all the mistakes we may have made –which may be keeping us away from Him in the first place.

He is willing and ready to forgive us, to restore us, to fill us and fulfill us, to empower us, and ultimately as with Peter, to give or renew a call and a purpose in our lives: “Feed my sheep!”.

  1. Scott says:

    So true. If we treat God’s Word like food then we should take the same approach when on vacation… ‘Eat’ too much of It and fall asleep in Holy stupor.

  2. That’s true Scott, no one ever takes vacation from eating 🙂

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