He now stands at the edge of the sea. This was the very place he made the most significant step of faith in his life. His mind races back about three years. He reacquaints himself with the emotions he felt the day he left it all.
Nobody ever leaves the security of a trade. Nobody abandons everything their father and the previous generations had worked so hard to attain. Everybody always talks about getting out, but nobody ever does. Nobody escapes the life and nobody ever leaves the town.
That is until he did. He did what others only dreamed about. On a very normal day he walked away in dramatic style. He never looked back, until today.
The salty smell brings comfort, but the waves crashing in remind him of his present condition. He picks up the nets that were all too familiar to him. He spots a few boats off in the distance and recognizes friends from the past. He takes a heavy breath and realizes he is right back were he started from. He is a fisherman.
The fisherman we are talking about is Peter. He is the disciple who dropped his nets and immediately followed Christ. He is the guy who walked on water. He is the aggressor who cuts off the ear of a guy who has come to arrest Jesus in the garden. We have always loved this guy because he is from the bleacher section. He is not the smartest guy around, but he has a passion that compares to none.
Today however, Peter finds himself once again, a fisherman, and known as the guy who denied Christ when a schoolgirl challenged him. Peter has walked away and returned to everything that was familiar. His self-image is rocked and he waits for the world to pound on him like the waves pound on the seashore. Again he sighs and then mutters to himself, "This is going to be brutal."
Somehow, I think you and I can relate to Peter. We have stepped out and tasted the sweetness of victory. The crowd has admired us. We have achieved poster child status. Then life hits us. There is a kink in the plan. Our expectations are not even close to being realized. Our dreams are shattered. We are now left alone to wrestle with the hand we have been dealt combined with our personal failures. Where is the hope?
The hope is found in Mark 16:7. The women are visiting the tomb expecting to care for a lifeless body. Instead they find an open tomb and a message of a risen Messiah. The hope is found in this little message the women were given. "But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.'"
The message is very specific for one of the disciples. It seems that Peter had an appointment with Christ. Christ set the appointment. The same Christ Peter had abandoned. The same Christ Peter had denied. The same Christ Peter had failed.
Christ will never let us go. He will never let us return to failure. He will not allow you to return to what is familiar. He has greater plans for you. You heard his voice clearly when you chose to follow him. You may have failed him, but he will never fail you. Your greatest days are ahead of you. You have an appointment with His destiny.
Gordon Mularski, is the senior pastor of Treasure Coast Community Church in Jensen Beach.
TC3 meets in the Jensen Beach High School Performing Arts Center on Sundays at 10 a.m.
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