I am continuing to read in John 21. And my first thought seems ‘out there’ but I’ll share it anyway. Look with me at verse 7.
7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea.
Without doing some research and even then I am not certain I could ascertain how many days post the Resurrection, Peter and the Boys went fishing; but nevertheless, they were fishing. Maybe Peter was trying to get on with his life and the Others decided to follow him. (Makes me think we should be careful where we go, others may follow.) They had all seen Jesus since His Resurrection, but I think they were clueless at that moment as to what the Resurrection was to mean to them for the rest of their earthly lives. So they did what came naturally. They went fishing. And going fishing in and of itself may not be bad. But IF going fishing represents going back to doing things the OLD way because the NEW way seems impossible or at best, unclear; then ‘fishing’ isn’t a good plan. BUT GOD is sovereign even over our sojourns back into OLD WAYS. And by now you may be saying, “Kathie, how did you get this from verse 7”? As I said it’s ‘out there’ and getting more out there, I think. Verse 7 says that Peter had taken off his outer garment while fishing. And maybe there are times when that is okay. We do need proper work attire, don’t we? But when he saw Jesus he put his garment back on and plunged into the sea to get to Jesus as fast as he could. So I am thinking verse 7 is a picture of restoration. A picture of starting again. And as you read the rest of Chapter 21, that is what happened with Peter. Jesus had come to where Peter was to ‘restore’ him. Work with me here, this is good I think. I hope. Recall with me that Peter denied the Lord prior to His crucifixion. Lets phrase that this way. Peter took off his ‘garment of praise’. Peter was scared. Too scared to praise the Lord. Too scared to even admit he was a disciple.
So when I read verse 7 I thought you know when we go back to an old practice that is what we do in a way. We take off our ‘garment of praise’ and we practice our old ways of fear, doubt, griping, complaining, selfishness, etc. Etc. And while we are practicing our old ways, just as Peter and the Boys did not catch any fish, we are not catching any ‘fish’ for the Kingdom of God. But when we find ourselves or I should say when Jesus comes and finds us in our old fishing hole, if we will look up, focus on HIM, and put on again our ‘garment of praise’, we will be restored. We can then delve into deep water or maybe even ‘walk’ on it (I know that’s a different story) and begin again to fellowship with Jesus, catch a few fish and maybe even feed a few of His sheep. The point is if we keep on our garments of praise, we won’t go back to our same old fishing hole.
Abba, thank You for this lesson. Thank You for what You have done in these recent days and I ask You to continue to raise Yourself up in us. I pray for more and more insight into You and Your Ways, not just for the knowledge alone but so we can obey You more fully. . . . Thank You for protecting our IDOK Troops and Families. Thank You for Your Hand upon Your People. And we continue to pray for America, for grace and space to repent. . . . Father, please forgive and save America. And Holy Spirit, revive and refresh Christian Churches to holy living both in voice and deed for Jesus sake. Amen and amen.
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