Spiritual Growth; April 13, 2023

John 21:4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

We’re back to Jesus having fun with His disciples after His resurrection. Jesus had some serious business here, but I still think He got a kick out of appearing to His disciples this way. I like the poetic way the Japanese expresses the time of day: “As dawn was starting to color the night.” It’s really no wonder they couldn’t tell who it was standing on the shore, because it was still pretty dark. Peter’s reaction to John recognizing that it was Jesus is rather touching to me. In contrast to his going out and weeping bitterly after denying he knew Jesus, now, after having had a personal encounter with the risen Jesus, he can’t wait to get close to him again. He probably could have swum the 100 meters to shore more easily in the loin cloth he was wearing in the boat, but in honor and respect for Jesus, he put on his outer garment anyway. I’m sure it warmed Jesus’ heart to see his response. Not all of the tests God gives us are painful. I think Peter passed this one pretty well, and he only had to get wet! The thing is, God enjoys growing His children, stretching and maturing them for their good, and we should decide to enjoy the process as well. I’m often reminded of the wisdom expressed in Hebrews: “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11)

I’m in the middle of another training exercise at the moment myself, confronted with the decision of when to retire from my school teaching. It was triggered by something the school did, but not requested by them. At this point they have no idea how I responded to the incident, but I’ll be going to teach this morning, and I need to discuss it with them. Most of the staff I’ll be seeing are former students of mine, so there are likely to be a lot of thoughts and emotions involved. That said, this is a lot easier and better than if I were being fired, or than if I had a major health issue making me unable to continue. I just found out that my younger daughter is also in a very intense training experience, though it is quite different from mine. I need to support and encourage her, and others around me, as we all continue to grow through our trials, to be more and more of what God designed us to be in the first place.

Father, thank You indeed for all that You are doing. My daughter’s situation, being health-related, is perhaps more traumatic than mine. I ask for a fresh infusion of faith for her, that she may be able to stand against the lies of the enemy and have peace and joy regardless of what is going on in the moment. We indeed all have our issues, but You are not only far bigger than them all, Your grace is certainly sufficient for us all. (2 Corinthians 12:9) Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
This entry was posted in Christian, encouragement, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s