Suddenly, Jesus is there.

After his death, after his resurrection, Jesus shows up again for his followers. And each time it is a stunning experience for them.

Things haven't changed. When Jesus appears in our lives it still takes us by surprise. It could happen any moment, however ready we are – or not.

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Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, you have no fish, have you?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net to 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 there were so many fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea. But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off.

John 21:4-8

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I confess that at different points in my life I have not been very diligent about my devotional practices. It’s not that I lose faith or stop caring about God, it’s just that I let all the other things I’m doing crowd out time to sit still, read my Bible, and pray. On the other hand, there have been periods in my life when I put on an all-out effort to maintain a daily spiritual practice and felt like my prayers were dead on the floor instead of soaring to heaven. It can be more discouraging to try hard and feel like I’m failing than to simply not try at all.

Was it a spiritual discouragement the disciples felt that night their nets were empty? I doubt they were out on that boat simply to catch fish. I think they went out on the water hoping to find Jesus. When Jesus came he filled both desires: fish and friendship!

Prayer is not about the effort we put into it. Prayer is about waiting. When we are waiting for Jesus, he never disappoints.

Tammy Wiens-Sorge

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Jesus, as I think about the things I have to do today, I ask that you would “fill my net.” Help me to find happiness in living this day and open my eyes to see your presence in each moment. Amen.

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The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love....

He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far he removes our transgressions from us.

Psalm 103:8, 10-12

Tammy Wiens-Sorge

Tammy Wiens-Sorge serves as a parish associate at Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community.

He Lives

Ken Medema

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