After - Day 15

John 21:1-3

21 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. 3 “I’m going out 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.

I am a horrible fisherman. Truly, I am just the worst. I’ve been fishing maybe 10 times in my life and I have caught nothing. I barely caught anything when we would go spearfishing when I was a student missionary in Majuro, and that was almost like shooting fish in a barrel. (I mean, if the barrel was the Pacific Ocean.)

Probably the worst thing about being a fisherman is when you don’t get any fish! And that is where we find all these guys. There were a bunch of them, and they were all taking Peter’s lead.
Also, have you ever thought of what it would be like to move back into a career you thought you left before? It is hard enough when you make a certain amount of money and have to go back to a previous amount that is lower. These guys were living with Jesus, and then they had to go back into their boats to make a living, even to eat. And they were failing pretty seriously at this point. I can’t imagine that they were feeling very good about themselves at this point.

The idea of coming back empty handed had to really grate on their nerves. Not only was their night wasted, but they didn’t have anything to eat. It seems they were utterly failing at everything they were putting their hands to since Jesus wasn’t with them any longer. It had to be frustrating, and it had to be soul-crushing.

Have you ever been really good at something, and then you stopped doing it, then when you came back to it you realized that you might not have the knack for it any longer? This is a tough reality, and this is probably what the disciples were feeling at the time.

How do you handle that feeling of hopelessness? How do you understand that it is not something that will last forever? Failures seem to sting particularly harshly when it feels that there might not be a success coming in the future. When it seems as if we are stuck in a cycle of failure or loss, it sometimes seems like we will never get out of it. I am sure the disciples felt the same way. They had lost their savior, and they were thrown back into their previous lives, without direction.

It doesn’t stay that way for too long, but in this moment, it must have been hard.
  1. Has life ever been hard for you? 
  2. Have you ever lost something that changed the course of your life? 
  3. What would it feel like to get that thing back? 
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