Taking Directions

John 21:1-14
Acts 4:1-12 / Ps 118

Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.
(John 21:6)

We labor vainly in this life,
And wonder what we’re looking for...
Then like the early morning light,
There’s Jesus waiting at the shore.

After this Jesus revealed Himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and He revealed Himself in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. 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. That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off. When they got on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask Him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after He was raised from the dead. (John 21:1-14)


It seems awkward going back to an old way of life or profession that we had abandoned after the new one we had been passionately pursuing did not progress as we had expected. Such was the listless disposition of Peter and the other apostles after the death of their Leader, Who had been their only hope for glory. They had gone back to their old fishing boat, and to their familiar fishing grounds, but even as they worked the whole night, they caught nothing. Dawn was coming as they headed for shore when the powerful voice of a stranger directed them to lower their nets on the right side of the boat. With nothing to lose, they did so, and were rewarded by a large catch too numerous to pull in.

Without direction from the Lord, all our attempts to find meaning in life will amount to nothing. By our own plans and efforts alone, we will always come up empty. In all major decisions in life, I have learned that it always pays handsomely to lift them up to the Lord first before going into action. Everything in life belongs to the Lord, and we are just His stewards. Therefore, we must always ask His permission as well as His direction first before we embark on anything. What is there to lose? A few minutes of consultation with the Lord in prayer, and reading the Bible are all there is to it. If we feel that our life’s journey seems to be lacking in direction, it is most likely that we do not meditate on Holy Scriptures as regularly as we should. The Bible is the ‘guidebook of life’ that God has handed down to us through His prophets and evangelists. By making it a daily habit to read scriptures, we can expect to know God more intimately and be led in the right paths with His decrees and ordinances, as well as be enlightened by the beautiful lessons of Jesus in His parables. We can also be assured of the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, guidance, and protection. When we make it a routine to consult God in prayer and scripture reading, we will discover that whatever we set out to do in life will never be in vain.

Direct us, Lord, in everything we do, that it may always be for Your glory. Amen.

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