Failure After Success

(Today's post by Tim David)

John 21:1-14

If you’re a Christian you know dark days. It is inevitable that things are going well, life is good, you’re walking along grateful to God – just living life – and “Wham” out of nowhere it hits you. You didn’t see it coming, and you’re down. Spiritually you’re had every ounce of strength sucked out of your body. You don’t feel safe – you thought you were in God’s protection, but how did He let “this” happen to you – whatever your “this” is. At this moment, many of us start experiencing, spiritually, what psychologist term “fight or flight.” Some turn and fight, giving everything they have until spent, they can’t defend themselves anymore, just giving into the attack. Then there are others who run to their “safe place.”

Truthfully, I think most of us are a combination. I know in my darkest days, I’ll fight…then retreat to what I know. Most of the time it is to a very juvenile understanding of who God is and what He means to me. These disciples had been through the ringer – marching triumphantly into Jerusalem, watching their leader and friend die a criminal’s death, to see Him raised from the dead – and now what? What were these guys supposed to do? They hadn’t been given the responsibility or instruction to go and “make disciples.” So they retreated to what they knew – making a living. They weren’t able to count on the many believers who had supported Christ and their team earlier, because many of them either lost faith or feared reprisal from the Jewish leadership. There weren’t just going to remain idle sitting around waiting for Jesus to do something – after all He wasn’t even with them physically.

Jesus appears to them at possibly their lowest point. These prideful men were disenfranchised from their team, families, and social network and they had been toiling all night without anything to show for it other than frustration, doubt, and probably pity. At that moment, Jesus calls out and tells them to just cast on the other side of the boat. It’s such a simple instruction with massive implications – these guys were fisherman, who is this guy to tell them what to do; the fish aren’t going to be on just one side of the boat and not the other; they had been at it all night and now all of the sudden there are going to be fish? Yet, showing their broken state, John tells us that they simply did…they repositioned the nets and caught more fish than they could hold.

Christian, you are right where you are because you are a Christian. (Profound, huh?) Think about it, if you are where I was a few months ago – in a canyon so deep that the light of day doesn’t reach the ground you’re standing on because of the formidable, craggy walls of rock swallow any tidbits of light – then you are there because Christ has allowed you to be there. You have a hope, but you don’t see it yet. Christ is able to meet you wherever you are, because He KNOWS WHERE YOU ARE. These guys weren’t surprised by Jesus knowing where they were because they had come to expect it. Jesus knows where you are and how much you can handle. When Judy and I were going through our losses, many well intentioned commented, “Jesus doesn’t give you any more than you can handle.” I wanted to scream back – I’m not some spiritual giant who can handle this – God has definitely given me more than I can handle! Looking back at it, I was right – I couldn’t handle it – I wept, doubted, hated, withdrew, cowered, and ignored. Jesus met me right where I needed Him – right when I was on the precipice and contemplating jumping – He was there, breaking through Satan’s blockade. The rays of warm sunshine immediately strengthening my spiritual resolve. Hey, there’s no blame for reacting the way we do in the face of adversity, but how will you react to Jesus’ provision?

Christ’s love for you has never been greater than right now!

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  • allan david

    God tests us or allows satan to block us; in either case we must abide in the vine,re-
    member we are the branches john 15:5 ;also since we are citizens of heaven;we must
    lower our expectations;

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