You count the fish....
I was reading tonight on one of my favorite old blogs a story of how four of the women in the family meet at dawn for a Bible study. This time they were talking about John 21, where Peter says he's going fishing and a man on the beach they knew not was Jesus told them to cast their nets on the right side of the boat and they did and their nets were so full of large fish (153 to be exact) that they could hardly bring the nets in...and then they knew without even asking that the man on the beach was Jesus.
There are so many things to gather from this verse. One person might want to be more passionate and impetuous for Christ, like Peter, and jump out of the boat without thinking and run for him. Another thing I take from it is when Jesus asks Peter three times ,"Do you love me?" That's a question that's been asked of me often lately (by the Holy Spirit). I have a new burden for people and for forgiveness than I did before. And when the old me creeps up and wants to flee the scene, I hear, "Do you love me?" Because to love Him means to love his people.
The most powerful thing I took from this story though, was when one of the women pointed out that there were 153 fish in the net. 153. Someone had taken the time to count the fish (no doubt it was Peter). They counted and saw how many so that they didn't even have to ask, they knew it was the Lord. The net held that many large fish...and yet it didn't break. The Lord held it intact.
One of the other women, who has had a rougher life, has her pictures scattered over the table and she looks at them wondering, "what do you do with all this?" Then she says, "You count the fish." "You pull in the net of your life and you see that even though you felt you were ripped open, you didn't actually tear, so there's much in your net. And you actually count them. You make sure to count the fish. So you don't have to ask because you know. You know it is the Lord. You count every single grace that he gave you through the long, dark night and you see that there are far more than 153! There is a feast!"
There have been times where I have felt ripped wide open and I thought for sure all was lost. I was lost. But I wasn't. My net held. Not only did it hold, but it held full of fish. And today on this my favorite day of the whole year, even though I have to work, I will still be taking the time to begin counting the fish. Because I am blessed, and there are plenty.
Thank you Lord for being my provider and my protector, for being my Abba Father and the pursuer of my heart. Not only have you kept my net intact, but you have filled it with a multitude of fish and I am grateful for every single one of them. You are holy and I adore you.