Day 21/21: With Us

Welcome here! This blog is an “extra blog” being posted daily between January 13 and February 3 to come alongside the 21 Days of Prayer. We are reading the book of John with the intention of looking at Jesus very closely. We want to know Him really well so that we will love Him even more!

February 3, 2019

Good morning Jesus,

What a good word to end on. John 21:9-10 and 13

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.”…

 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish.

The thing that stands out to me in this is that You anticipated the needs of Your friends and provided. But You also invited them to put in what they had been busy working at. To me this is such a picture of partnership. You didn’t “need” their fish, yet it was important to You to include their efforts also.

You told them earlier in John they would become “fishers of men;” why? Why…because You want it this way.

  • You want Your followers to know that they aren’t just recipients of new life, but also heralds of it.

  • You will provide all our needs, but You call us to participating in meeting needs.

  • You know what we are going to pray before we pray, but You still call us to pray.

  • You can do it all very handily without us (we slow You down actually), but You have called us to do the work You have gifted us to do.

Isn’t it so interesting to think about?

I sometimes think that part of this is reinforcing the mess we have made. I don’t mean that GOD is constantly guilting us about it but wouldn’t we be cavalier if we didn’t have to get our hands dirty in this stinking mess?

  • If at the snap of our finger GOD would fix the ocean, would we even care that we are creating the decay?

  • If at the drop of a hat, GOD would heal all our diseases, would we even care that we are introducing them constantly through our recklessness?

  • If, without hesitation, GOD would solve our problems, wouldn’t we be less inclined to grieve how we (the collective we) brought them about in the first place?

GOD calls us to step into the consequences and care about them…

  • In so doing, we realize our greatest need for forgiveness.

  • In so doing, we realize that GOD’s way was right all along and rebellion has a terrible and ongoing aftershock.

  • In so doing, we ache for the perfection that will come once again and love the promise of our future.

  • In doing so we participate in His redemption plan! We extend ourselves, copying the way He does.

So You provided the fish and bread…and You said, “Add in what you also pulled into Your boat” (which, by the way, GOD provided for you to catch…you can never get away from GOD’s provision, He is always involved).

I also think it is significant that the disciples are still confused, kind of in a haze. You already appeared twice to them but in Peter’s tone I just hear a lostness when he says, “I think I will go fishing.” Peter is filling time, not really knowing what to do with himself. He is living in shame also, which is so debilitating. When he sees You this third time, he jumps out of the boat (love Peter!) – he is so ready for something more!

And so, Jesus, not only do You invite him to participate with You over the breakfast table, You go further and in a redemptive exchange You call him to the thing that will govern his schedule for the rest of his life. You showed him his calling.

Sometimes I want You to “just do it”. I just want You to fix things, to make things, to move things, to build things, to mend things… but this is a group project. Even when You step in and do something startlingly miraculous, this still seems to have been participated in by us through prayer. You call us to seek You in prayer and to ask as our very first act of participation. So I should not get all tripped up asking questions about this. Jesus said ask. So ask.

These 21 days have been rich. I am walking away with some very practical things and one practical thing is that I need to pray more steps. I often pray for big things – like the ultimate end result. But what about in-betweens where I can actually see how You are moving towards that big end?

This past weekend You challenged me on this and You gave me an example. I have been praying so much for my son Josh and the “big end” prayer. But You said, “Why don’t you pray for some smaller things along the way…like pray, ‘Please prompt Josh to text me.’”

Ah, good idea. Yes, I do pray that…because he has really been out of touch and I would love to have some little connection with him.

Not even an hour later…a text. And what did this little text do for me? A beautiful shot of relief, not to mention a little shot of faith.

One thing I am marvelling at today is how our participation with You is purely an act of love. It does not move our status with You even an inch. We are fully accepted, forgiven, redeemed, saved… all of that, without any work by us. We believe in You and receive this from You. That’s that.

When You call us to participate, it is purely a loving response on our part. You demonstrated Your love to us, and we get to do the same back. Serving for us does not get us any sort of points…it is only ever a way that we express thanks for the great thing You have done for us.

Also what I am marvelling at is how You give us everything we need to serve, You supply all our needs, You do miraculous things in the middle of that serving, You guide us as we serve so we aren’t overwhelmed, and You celebrate what You did and what “we did” as if we really did something great together….only, really, it is You who did it. This gives You pleasure.

We are like toddlers helping our mom bake cookies. She gives us the chocolate chips to pour in. We eat half the chocolate chips before they even get mixed in. She does everything else and then says, “These cookies are delicious! Good job, little one!” while we eat that freshly baked cookie with a big grin and sense of personal accomplishment.

She knows…she knows she baked the cookies. But she delights in our little part, seeing our little hands around that measuring cup. She loves hearing our voice ask when they will be done and will we be able to have one when they are? She is genuinely proud of our tiny contribution in the project and can see how next time we might even do something more in the process.

Isn’t it like this? You are with us always.

Jesus, I have loved walking with You these past 21 days and looking closely at You in the book of John. I have loved seeing how You talk and walk. I have loved hearing Your voice. Really, I have swept over 21 chapters and there are hundreds of details (more then that) I could spend time with. I will, on my own time do so.

But for these 21 things about You that You have drawn me to see and I have written about, I pray whoever has read this, that my words only pointed to Your words. I pray for those readers that You would do Your supernatural work in their hearts…the thing You do, that only You can do. Yes, I pray for a renewal in Your Church where people will come closer to You than they ever have before, seeking You. Seeking You!

May we be set free where we need to be set free — done with the things that hinder us — and COME ALIVE to all the new things You want to do in us and through us.

With much love from your daughter,