Have you seen that scene in the Shrek movie where Sleeping Beauty arrives to serenade Fiona at her baby shower? They have to keep waking her up because she keeps falling asleep! She’s awake, then she’s asleep, then she’s awake… Beauty, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty, Sleeping Beauty…
Flittering between identities – eyes open, eyes closed…
Can the lady please just make up her mind?
Yes, that’s her in the picture included (second from the left, next to Cinderella), dozing off for a brief moment while everyone else enjoys a chat over tea.
By Heather Djunga
Peter and the disciples were disillusioned after the crucifixion. We know this because we see towards the end of the book of John the disciples returning to fishing after Jesus’ crucifixion. This was what they were doing when He first called them. They went back to their old identities. Back to sleep.
Maybe they were offended or disillusioned or hurt by how things had panned out. One day Jesus was speaking like He was invincible. The next, it felt to them like He was no longer with them.
What did they think about as they sat in their fishing boats? They must’ve been thinking about Him. Once you have spent time with the living Jesus, you can’t just shake Him out of your thoughts. They must’ve missed Him, recounted their journey with Him over and over… Why had it come to this? He was the Son of God, He knew everything, why hadn’t He warned them they were headed for this dry, empty place? They had been on top of the world, now they were back in their fishing boats.
Have you ever felt that way? Maybe you were trusting God for something and things seemed to be gaining momentum in your walk with Him. You were seeing His hand move in miraculous ways, you were close to Him – as His disciples had been… but then something unexpected happened. Something which seemed like a hideous obtrusion into your story with Him. Something which left you feeling muzzled and disillusioned.
In that initial period after Jesus’ death, the disciples responded to the pain and disillusionment of what had happened by shrinking back into their old comfort zones – in this instances, fishing boats.
But then these hard working fishermen heard someone calling them from the shore and telling them where to cast their nets. They didn’t recognise Him at first but they soon would when after listening to the man on the shore’s instructions, they caught such a large catch of fish they could hardly pull their nets up.
His presence, His voice was enough to shake off the ‘Sleeping’.
Jesus, the risen Son of God, met the fishermen in their place of despondency, at the same time reinstating their identities, waking them up to who they were and more importantly, to who He was… the RISEN Son of God.
Disillusionment fell away. Hope and identity were restored. He wasn’t about to drop the story half way. He was committed to driving it through to its conclusion.
How did they know this?
Well, there He was. With them.
Waking them up again.
There on the shore, Jesus reinstated Peter who had denied him three times at the crucifixion, asking Him three times if he loved Him and with each answer, asking him to ‘take care of His sheep’. Three times He reminded Sleeping Peter that he was no longer an ordinary fisherman. He was a fisher of men, the beloved of Jesus.
He woke Peter up.
Do you not know He has transformed you by His Spirit from ashes to Beauty so Beauty shake off the Sleeping once and for all and make a decision today – I’ve been called for this, I’ve been equipped for this and I am going to go for it! I’m not going to allow naysayers to steal my focus. I’m not going to allow circumstances to intimidate me. My God isn’t a liar. He breaks chains… not promises!
Stay awake and contend!
From John 21:
“5 He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”
“No,” they answered.
6 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.
7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.”
To read the story behind the Living out Loud blog, visit https://living-out-loud.blog/2017/12/30/the-birth-of-a-new-blog/
©Copyright Heather Djunga 2018.