Do you sometimes find yourself wondering, “How did I get all the way back here?” Just when you think you’re about to get to the end of the gameboard and that sneaky serpent swallows you whole and dumps you right back at the start.
I am currently standing on that square. Go back to Start! I am so tired and battle wary. Give me a break! Have you no idea how hard it was to get this close to the finish line?
2018 was my year. It started with a great plan and consistent follow through, which shifted 3 stone off my body and loads of baggage from my heart. But here I am, facing a heart-sinking number on the scale that is whispering: “This is who you really are.” Most of the weight has piled back on, but it is the shame of it all that is the heaviest to carry.
Driving home from the school run this morning, I was gently reminded of Jesus’s desciple, Simon Peter’s epic fail. Peter had an incredible call on his life (Luke 5:10, Matthew 6:18). He vowed to defend Jesus with his life (Matthew 26:35), but when it was time to stand and be counted, Peter the Rock, crumbled like a dipped cookie (Luke 22:54-62).
I am intimately acquainted with the shame beating down on Peter’s shoulders as he finds himself back at square one. Back in a little boat on the Sea of Galilee, the Rock, the fisher of men is now just a fisher of fish again. (John 21).
As I remember Peter’s story, my heart is encouraged by these truths:
1. Just because I have been here before, doesn’t mean I am still the same.
In John 21 we see Peter back on the sea of Galilee; the very same spot where Jesus first called him. He is in a boat, with John. They are tired, having spent all night trying hard to catch some fish. Sound familiar? (Read Luke 5).
When Jesus appears on the shore, they don’t recognise him at first. He tells them to throw their nets into the water on the other side of the boat, and they catch 153 fish!
Considering the uncanny similarities to Peter’s first encounter with Jesus, it is almost rediculous that Peter can’t see who is standing right in front of him! (Condemnation will do that to you).
It is John who recognises Jesus first and tells Peter: “it is the Lord!” Peter jumps out of the water and legs it towards his friend, his master and saviour. He is no longer the Peter who turns away from Jesus in shame (Luke 5:8).
Three years of walking with Jesus has given Peter the confidence to approach the Son of God in the moment of his grestest failure.
Shame has a way of making us run away from the only one who can heal our heart and restore our hope and purpose. There is no need to hide from him when we have slipped up. There is no mess that he can’t clean up. And he loves to be invited into our messy lives.
Today I know that, even though I am back at square one, I am no longer one who runs from Jesus. I run towards him.
2. Following his instruction will bring breakthrough.
Has there been any area in your life that just doesn’t seem to produce any fruit? Peter and John worked very hard to catch some fish. They worked all through the night, but caught nothing! Not even one little fish.
A simple instruction from Jesus results in a catch of 153 (I have heard that, that number represents “victory” in the Hebrew language… selah).
Is there any area where you need victory? I do! For sure! Maybe it is time to stop trying so hard to fix myself, invite Jesus into my boat and wait for his instruction?
3. Breakfast with Jesus will bring the transformation I need.
There are so many voices around us competing for our attention, masked as solutions to all our troubles. Try this diet, take these pills, sign up to this plan. The things we are told to avoid like the plague today, will be recommendations for health and longevity tomorrow.
I have tried them ALL and this is what I have learned: the only cure for that hunger in my soul is breakfast with Jesus. It is when I stop meeting with him and allowing him to tell me who I am and what his plans are for my life, that things start slipping.
Jesus already had the fire going, waiting for Peter, cooking him breakfast. He cooked the fish that Peter caught, which makes me realise that I will have to participate in the process of breakthrough.
Over breakfast Jesus not only tells Peter that he is forgiven, but he restores the purpose and destiny that Peter was created for (John 21:15-19).
Breakfast with Jesus will not only transform you, but will bring you to your purpose and facilitate breakthrough for others.
Today, I hear God saying: “It may look like all is lost, but invite me into your boat. Let me give you a strategy for breakthrough. Meet me for breakfast and let me tell you who you really are, and the incredible plans I have for your life. You are loved.” ❤