Love Makes the Difference
Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, "Children, do you have any fish?" They answered him, "No." He said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish.—John 21:4-6
How well do you understand the extent of Jesus’ love? This love, in its truest, supernatural form, can make the difference in our relationships with others. But the only way this is possible is if the love of Jesus has already made the difference in our relationship with our Heavenly Father. The Gospel of John tells how Jesus demonstrated this love to His disciples in chapter 21.
The disciples were fishermen by trade. They knew their stuff. After staying out all night, trying to catch some fish, we read that Jesus stood on the shore. We certainly don’t know how long He was standing there, but we do know He probably observed some of the frustration that came from not being able to catch fish; not having any success at the very thing they had been trained to do. (Imagine Peter with little to no sleep!) Yet in His love, Jesus waited for them on the shore.
Have you spent a long time trying to do something, maybe even something that normally isn’t hard for you, only to end with an overwhelming lack of success, achievement, and fruitfulness? Maybe it’s a season of ministry; maybe it’s a relationship; maybe it’s the everyday 9-to-5. You’ve spent a figurative full night working hard but have experienced little to no benefit.
The phrase “just as day was breaking” suggests that it was at the very moment when the disciples thought the night was never-ending and their labor was in vain, morning came and brought their Savior to the shore, waiting patiently for them to take notice.
While this act in and of itself was evidence of His love, Jesus did not just wait silently. Rather, He instructed the disciples to respond by faith. He called them to realize the limits of their own efforts that had left them discouraged and exhausted, to follow His instruction, and to experience the overwhelming blessing and satisfaction that comes from obedience.
Where do you see yourself in this story? Have you cast your nets into the sea of life again and again? Are you striving to achieve something so familiar to you and yet so beyond your grasp? Look up at the shore of your own heart to see your Savior. Recognize His patient love that waits for you to seek and obey His specific directions. This is the love that makes the difference. —Ron Zappia
Father, Your love is powerful and patient. Thank You for waiting on the shores of my heart. Allow me to recognize You, listen to You, and know the blessing that comes from obeying Your voice. I’m choosing today to relinquish control and desire to follow You. I love you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
- Is there an area in my life where I’m working in my own strength? Am I discouraged by a lack of success?
- How can I stop my own efforts and listen to what Jesus desires for me to do? What must I do to obey what He’s asking of me?