Most of us either identify with Simon Peter personally or he makes us chuckle. We either see ourselves in him or his impulsiveness mirrors the actions of a close friend or family member. Simon Peter… What a guy!
Several guys (followers of Jesus) were hanging out together after the death of Jesus near the Sea of Tiberias. One morning Peter just up and says, “I’m going fishing!” We really don’t know what prompted that… It may have been simply boredom or disappointment with the fact that following Jesus had resulted in what seemed to be a great anticlimax (After the great buildup, Jesus had died and nothing really had materialized yet!) It also could have been the temptation to return to his “regular job” and make some money (after all before he left everything and decided to follow Jesus, Peter made pretty good money in a family business as a professional fisherman).
So Jesus just appears out of nowhere on the shore and asks the guys a probing question… “Have you guys caught any fish?” The fact is, they had worked hard the entire night and had caught absolutely nothing!
They didn’t really recognize Jesus yet on the shore, but He called out to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat and you’ll get some!” Incredibly they decide to try it… And miracle-of-miracles, the nets are instantly full – so full, in fact they cannot haul them in! It’s at that moment Apostle John realized it was the Lord! Impulsive Peter throws on some clothes (he had stripped down for work), jumped into the lake, swam to shore, to be with Jesus!
The rest of the guys finally got to shore, Peter helped them with the nets and catch of fish (153 of them!), and Jesus had breakfast prepared for them over a charcoal fire.
When I read this story again this morning I thought about Peter… and me! It’s so easy to allow disappointments and frustrations to dampen faith… even lead to boredom in following Jesus! Then suddenly in a serendipitous moment Jesus shows up! Suddenly the ordinary becomes extraordinary! Deadened faith erupts into flame! He really is alive and active – ordinary becomes adventure! So much for the fishing!
So this has been my prayer today… Oh Lord, help me guard my heart from boredom in following you! Help me press through the disappointments and frustrations that kill faith! Help me to be alert to the possibility you can show up anywhere, anytime in miracle working power! Lord help me never lose the adventure of following You!