The Lord Comes In Ways We Do Not Expect – by Tesfom Melake
Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered. He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
….When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” John 21.4-6,9
The above part of the scripture teaches us some important lessons. If we carefully observe the passage we can see that the disciples who were professional fishermen tried to catch fish the whole night but couldn’t catch even a single fish. The marine experts can explain to us so nicely that if a person wants to catch much fish, that person should go by night to the see. This is so because fish make most of their movements by night and they feed on nights. Therefore, Peter and his partners must have been aware of this and that could be the reason they were out for fishing during the night. However, it is pitiful when the expert fishermen could come up with no fish at hand. On the contrary the Lord Jesus appeared in the morning where fish could not be found and caught easily and yet ordering Peter and his co-partners to throw their net to catch fish. Obviously these smart fishermen might have known that after the long fruitless night, this could not be a proper time to labor again for catching fish, however, they obeyed the Lord and threw their net. To their surprise they caught 153 fish in their net. What do we learn from this? Here are some of the lessons:
- Whatever expertise or knowledge or ability man can have, might not help him all the time, there are times where a man should rely on supernatural power. There are times we need to totally and utterly depend on the Lord. The bible advises us by saying “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” Proverbs 3.5-6
- The second lesson is that every person needs the touch of the hands of the Lord to prosper in life. We need the command of Jesus Christ in our life, if we are to be successful people in our lives. We may have success in life without the touch of Jesus Christ but that would be only temporary, but the success which comes through the touch of the Lord’s hands will remain with us and gives us power over the circumstances of life.
- The third lesson is that, humanly speaking fish is found only in the night hours, this means we should not always think that God works only in the ways we know and expect him to. Our God is Lord over all so he has the ability to work in a time and circumstance which seems impossible and improper for us. So we need to accept the ways and guidance of the Lord and trust him even if it seems not right in our own eyes/ways.
- We see that Peter and his friends almost gave up and went back to their old profession. Hence, the Lord appears to us when we are on the verge of giving up and going back to our old nature. The Lord delights in picking us up and bringing us back to our real spiritual state and ministry.
- We see that the Lord himself has prepared a meal for them for the passage says “When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.” Verse 9. Here we observe that the Lord delights in filling our hunger and thus give us the strength to carry on our spiritual life forward. This is the same as the angel did to the prophet Elijah and as the psalmist said “He refreshes my soul. …You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” Psalm 23.3 &5.
- The Lord also could come to us in times we do not expect him. So, we should always be alert for the presence of the Lord, for he can show up anytime and anywhere. He does as he wills.