John 21 v3
“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.”
The whole world can be in a party, looking to the future but you can still be gripped with the failure of the past.
We know that post-lockdown some businesses will no longer be there. They were struggling before and they never made it through the lockdown. Not everyone that goes into the wilderness comes out. It is possible that when restrictions are eased and everyone is advancing again that we find some people will have already retreated.
Jesus has yet to say anything to Peter about his denial though he had met him a few times since the resurrection. Can you imagine what is going on in his mind? The embarrassment of his failure must have weighed heavy in his heart.
In the film Lion King – Simba, a young lion cub is the son of the powerful king of the Pride Lands. His father is killed trying to save Simba from a stampede of buffalo. The truth is Simba should not have been where he was when he was saved. Overwhelmed by guilt for his father’s death he is then confronted by Scar, his wicked uncle. Scar accuses Simba and exposes his shame. Simba cries out, “What shall I do?” The reply seemed the only thing he could do, but it was a message from hell “Run away, Simba, run away and never come back.” This young lion, born to be king, wanders off into the loneliness of exile, never to experience his inheritance, never to know true life again.
Let’s become fishermen again. Let’s go back to what we were before we met Jesus. Let’s return to what we know.
People have always run away from where they should be.
Hagar ran because Sarah was jealous of her illegitimate son Ishmael.
Moses ran because he was afraid of Pharaoh finding out about his murderous act.
Jonah ran because God asked him to do something that he couldn’t do.
For every kind of reason people find themselves running away.
They do it get geographically but more and more people do it thinking no one can see, for they run away from things that are private, from devotion to God, from enthusiasm for witnessing, from energy for worship, they back away from fellowship that’s too vulnerable. And yet even though they think only they know, the truth is eventually everyone knows.
Peter who replied when Jesus asked ‘Who do you say I am?’ “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”
Peter who promises “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.” Now says “I’m going out to fish.”
What about you?
Has the devil declared over your life “Run away, run away and never come back”? Running away because of people’s unkindness, running because of fear, running away from obedience, running because of guilt of your past failure.
It is possible to remain in the same place but have left a long time ago.
If that is you then don’t run anymore. Come back. There’s a man on the shore waiting for you.