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.Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” –John 21:4-7
Peter probably returned to his old occupation because he was distraught with disappointment, hopelessness, fear and sadness at the death of Jesus. Peter did what he knew how to do in his present situation, fish, fleeing from discipleship and the walk of faith.
But even while Peter lost hope and faith, Jesus appeared to Peter to show him exactly how He viewed him. Peter saw himself as lowly, the one who denied Jesus three times, the one who loved Jesus but lost Jesus. But Jesus came to Peter, “the disciple whom Jesus loved” to show himself resurrected and alive! Jesus came to Peter and the disciples to strip them of their present fears, shame, brokenness, hopelessness, disappointment and discouragement.
It’s easy to look at our present situation and feel discouraged that we aren’t where we thought we would be. We get too wrapped up in how we see ourselves, while being too blinded to see Jesus waiting at the shore, “early in the morning.” Jesus wants us to know he is alive not just in our past successes and growth but also in our present situation, good or bad. He is waiting to clothe us with promises of newness, hope, restoration and rest.