May 13, 2019

Weekly Reflection – All Through the Night

Weekly Reflection – All Through the Night

Could it be that Jesus had been there all through the night?

Today (April 23) marks the anniversary of the death of my first wife, Patsy, back in 1996. On days like today, I tend to think even more of the significance to Christians of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and His promise of eternal life.

In John 21, Jesus appears to the disciples “at the break of day.” They had been fishing all night with no success. Then, as the darkness gave way to dawn, Jesus was seen on the shore. He instructed them on how to obtain an abundant harvest of fish. According to the Gospel of John, they followed his instructions and did indeed receive a net full of 153 large fish.

Could it be that Jesus had been there all through the night, but the apostles were simply unable to see him?

Is it like that for us? Is Jesus there, but we cannot see Him? When life deals us the darkest of nights can we still trust and believe that Jesus is there, watching over us like the Good Shepherd of Psalm 23? And can we trust that the Good Shepherd will lead us on the right path? We join with Thomas Merton who adds about that path, “…even though we may know nothing about it at the time.”

Phillip Yancy writes that his definition of faith is “believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse.” The apostles must have recognized this as they looked “in reverse” at Jesus life, suffering and ultimately his unexpected appearances to them after He rose from the dead.

Life has its ups and downs. With age and maturity, one can look back and make sense of how God may have used the times of darkness to lead us to a better place. It is that experience that gives us the confidence to carry on until the next dawn arrives.

Our “old normals” repeatedly turn into “new normals.” These new normals are of course different, but they are normals that can be good. Indeed, in Christ, they are good beyond our wildest imaginations! Who would have imagined that eternal life and a resurrected body could be ours?

Blessings and peace,

Chaplain Allen

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