…“It is the Lord!”… John 21:7a NKJV
How often I have had an “encounter” with the Lord, have had a “mountain-top experience” with Him, only for it to quickly fade and become a distant memory. Very quickly after these encounters and experiences, I go back to the same old routines, same old habits and nothing’s changed and I find myself waiting in anticipation for the next “encounter” that is going to rock my world. By no means am I knocking those life-changing moments, but I do ask, “Are they really life-changing?” And is there more?
Peter and the other disciples had had several encounters with the Risen Lord, leaving them in absolute amazement and awe! And what do they do? They go fishing! Back to their old lives, their old normal. Really?! They fish all night and guess what…they caught nothing! Their old “normal” had little if anything for them, either before or especially now, but that didn’t keep them from trying. But then, Jesus enters the picture! He calls to them from the shore using the term “children” to personally and affectionately address them, asking them if they had caught anything. Not realizing Who it was, they replied, “No.” Jesus then told them to cast on the other side of the boat. They did and they could hardly pull in the net because it was so full of fish! It was then, John recognized it was Jesus and Peter leaped into the water to get to the shore as fast as he could.
When they arrived on shore, they found Jesus had a warm fire going and had fixed breakfast for them. Can you imagine?! After all He had been through, Jesus was exemplifying the ultimate in humility and hospitality! No rebuke, no sermon, no piercing question, just a simple invitation to bring what they had caught, then, “Come and eat breakfast.” Not one of them dared to ask Who He was…they knew. Then, Jesus took the bread and gave it to them along with the fish.
And there you have it. Not only had the disciples experienced the extraordinary in seeing the Risen Savior but they then got to see and experience Him in the ordinary. Yes, Jesus shows up in spectacular ways, speaks a powerful and penetrating word, touches hearts and transforms lives. But Jesus is also very much in our day-to-day life. The disciples were fishing, something they had done their entire lives, even making their living from it. Definitely “ordinary.” That is until Jesus entered the scene! Certainly, they had to be reminded this wasn’t the first time Jesus had coached them in their fishing technique! (Luke 5) Then, there’s the fire and the breakfast on the beach. Something I’m sure they had done many, many times before. Again, an “ordinary” experience for a fisherman. Something I bet they had even done with Jesus before. Only this time, it was different. This time it was with Jesus Who been resurrected from the dead only days earlier!!! Don’t you know they had to remember when they broke bread together at the Last Supper??!! (Matthew 26; Mark 14; Luke 22; John 13) Or remembered when He had taken five loaves and two fish and fed over 5,000 people?! (Matthew 14) What I wouldn’t give to have been part of that “ordinary” breakfast by the sea!!!
Yes, I love me a good conference or retreat. I absolutely treasure any time I can get away with the Lord for an extended period to specifically seek Him and spend time with Him in His Word and in prayer. But I so often forget He is with me every single day in everything I do and everywhere I go. Jesus is with me in my home and in my office. He is with me as I spend time with family and friends. He is with me at the grocery store or when I’m folding laundry. He is with me as I am a wife, a mother and a grandmother. (I truly believe Jesus gets quite a chuckle at times with the antics of my grandbabies!) And if I will take the time to look in anticipation for Him in the day-to-day routine the same way I do when I’m heading to that “mountain-top,” I believe I will come to the same conclusion and declare as John did, “It is the Lord!” Even in the ordinary.