They fished the whole night. They caught nothing.
Not a real successful cheer-up attempt.
So, in the early morning, their Mentor and Teacher comes to the shore, just a stone’s throw from where they are… but they don’t recognize him because …
they’re focused on what they don’t have.
“Boys, you don’t have any fish, do you?” The Teacher calls out.
“No!” they blurted. “But thanks so much for asking weird-guy-at-the-shore that’s making us feel like failures.” They didn’t say that last drippingly sarcastic remark, but they thought it.
Long story short: their Mentor gives them some fishing tips, the listen, they catch a ton of fish and bring them to shore where the Teacher is making a breakfast.
They sit down to an incredible spread where the Mentor has a fire of coals, fish cooking on the fire, and some bread.
They all have breakfast and a pretty transparent conversation.
John 21:3-9 (in-my-own-words-version)
I was shocked when I read this passage. I thought:
Time to go back to work. What do we do when we’re upset. We try to get what we need to fill a void. Just keep working. Just keep working. Just keep…
It’s interesting that this same pattern continues today. Sometimes in my own life.
What makes the story so fun and so surprisingly ironic, is that Jesus had the fish all along. He had prepared a table for his laboring friends.
At that moment of realization, I hopped out of the boat, onto the shore with Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, James, and John and had a stellar little breakfast that I’d been working for during a seemingly hopeless night.
Jesus always has that for which we’re working.
Sometimes He seems to call out to us as if to say “did you get it yet? Did you find the (insert need here)? That’s OK, why don’t you just listen to me, I’ll tell you how to get what you really want. Even better, hop out of your boat, I’ve got it right here, and I’ve had it all along. I always will.”