Saturday, February 4, 2017

The Missing Disciples

By my count some are missing.  The 21st chapter of John starts out with a fishing story.  Simon Peter says, "I am going fishing."  Six other disciples responded, "We will go with you."   Six and one makes seven.  Seven is a long way from twelve, or eleven considering Judas Iscariot has permanently left the group.  And one of the six, Nathaniel, is not one of the original band of The Twelve, but a "Johnny-come-lately."  (John 1:45 ff.)  Regardless of how it is figured, it is obvious that some are missing.  Maybe they did not like the idea of going fishing, but what they missed was more than fish. They missed a blessing.

How many times have we missed a blessing we could have received from Jesus if we had just shown up?  Maybe those missing from that morning fishing trip figured there were more important fish to fry than getting out and actually catching some which is certainly an understandable possibility.  And, maybe our life is so full of things that we have deemed as most important that there is no room for Jesus to show up in our life in some surprising and unpredictable moment.  I remember some years ago at one of those church meeting when a speaker shared how his church always included a line item in the budget for any unplanned things the Holy Spirit might want to do.  His was a church that expected the Spirit to provide leading through the course of the year that was outside the boundary of expectations or planning. 

Giving God room to act is always a good thing.  Doing that requires a lifestyle that has some flexibility built into it.  It may also mean being open to moving in directions that seem a bit unsettling or uncomfortable.  The point is we sometimes have such a "poured in concrete" understanding about how Jesus is going to bless us that we give Him no room to bring those blessings into our lives.  We end up missing blessings from Him that He would choose to give. 

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