While reading my bible a while back, I had a realization that has never quite sunk in prior to this particular moment.
For some years now, I have understood the grace that I’ve received, that gift of love and forgiveness, and known the strength that I draw, from my relationship with Jesus.
I was reading John 21: 1-14, about the disciples seeing the resurrected Jesus on the shore while they were fishing. Their reaction was what caught my attention. Jesus was standing on the shoreline, guiding them to throw their nets to the other side of their boat. They had seen him so many times prior and yet they weren’t sure they recognized Him. I can image they kept searching for something familiar wondering if it was or wasn’t Jesus. Once he spoke directly to them, and they were sure it was Jesus, they came to him immediately with no hesitation.
Why is it that so many of us wait until we’re sure before we run to Jesus?
I’d been thinking about a question posed from loved one, “ how do you know that Jesus truly is the only way to salvation.” I thought “if he could only see”. Suddenly, thoughts raced through my mind, “how awesome it must have been to stand on that shore and see for yourself Jesus raised from the dead”. I wondered how I would have reacted and how I will react when He comes back for the ones He knows. I thought that, seeing Jesus resurrected, must have made it so much easier for the disciples to share about Him, for they had seen with their own eyes the resurrected Jesus more than once. The sheer magnitude, that those twelve disciples witnessed and shared, and suffered, and glorified Jesus, in all that they did. That their undying faith has grown into millions of believers today. The awesomeness of that astounds me. The power of that kind of faith!
Then the it struck me! “I actually thought it was easier for them” Yes they had seen the risen Lord but I have seen with my own two eyes the power and evidence of that same Savior in my life and the life of so many others. The difficulties of travel and daily life, the ridicule, the persecutions they suffered, did not stop the disciples, they knew their “mission”. Absolutely nothing was “easier” for them!
I Thank God. Today I don’t suffer as the original disciples of Jesus did, and yet I struggle to share my faith, how humbled am I, for I have received the gift of His grace.
Right then and there I realized the gratefulness I felt for His death to save me, a gift that I so did not deserve. I once again thought of the bible verse I claim as my favorite. “I can do all things, with Christ, who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13 .
And so I share!
Will you run to him or are you struggling to see?