“Moving? How do I feel about moving? I just hate feeling months of loneliness,” Mom closed her eyes, tears starting to appear. Deb looked up sharply and tapped the eraser of her pencil on the legal pad she had been scratching on and lifted slightly out of her seat, “But, Beth, listen to yourself! You are already painting a picture of a world without God.”
My mother’s counselor had uncovered the fear behind mom’s fictitious nightmare painted over her future: abandonment and loneliness. Would God really be present among the hills of Eastern Pennsylvania? Dad and mom were moving eight hours away to a new town, a new surgical practice, a new wiped slate and unknown life.
But then, enter Jesus.
Jesus has a way of transforming a room…just like He has a way of transforming an empty schedule into a purpose-filled future.
Jesus’ presence transforms any life into a life full of communion…the with-God life.
And the with-God life is true adventure:
Full of resurrection power
Full of enemy-chasing light,
Full of hope whispers to the still-grieving.
Watch what happens in this post-resurrection story:
After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way. 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. 3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
4 Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.” 6 He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. 7 That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea.
Peter was back on the Sea of Galilee casting for a future without Christ in it.
He was painting a picture with grief.
And so what did he do? He went back on auto-pilot. Push boat into sea. Fling nets. Pull them back in. On repeat. In his desperation, Peter fished with his guys all night long. Can you recognize the godless self-reliance? We’re going to have to provide for these people, these families, these straggling disciples, somehow. No more picnics with baskets overflowing here people. We’re on our own.
But for Peter, when Christ revealed himself, the world exploded in technicolor. “It is the Lord!” John pointed. Christ present? Peter knew that His Presence changes everything. He jumped in to join him.
We can too.
Today, just listen. Listen to the internal brushstrokes you are painting your zipcode with. What images are you using? What negative stereotypes are you reinforcing? Are you hunting for “every common bush a’fire with God” as Elizabeth Barrett Browning encouraged us to see our world with? Can you discern God’s presence there?
Today’s action: Jesus left us with a promise to echo down the centuries: “I am with you always.” Think through your agenda and invite Christ into each room, each building before you get there. Ask God to redeem your imagination and do the work of picturing him in each space. Then, jump in to join him there.
Whew! You, my friend, have just made it through Day 2. Find Day 1 and the description of our journey here: Falling in love with your Zipcode
Don’t miss a day of our 31 day journey. Slip your email in the Connect box and together we’ll learn to thrive where we’ve been planted.
Have friends who have moved within the last year? Send this series along to encourage them as well.