California · finding yourself

Unsure where to go? To the last place where God met you

“We do not need to go away into the depths and the darkness in order to realize the warmth of the light.”  MacLaren Expositions of Holy Scripture

It was troubling for me yesterday to read a meditation about a passage in John which discussed Peter going back to his “old” life as a fisherman and forgetting about Jesus. I had never really seen it that way. I imagined Peter more in an unconscious waiting period, going back to what he knew with the disciples who were now his brothers. It bothered me because I reflected on my own life, going back to the work that I knew, and feeling somewhat criticized by someone else’s words on a page judging Peter. I felt that they were also judging me. 

I meditated on John 21:1-14 all day. It bothered me. I didn’t and couldn’t believe that Peter was back on the fishing boat because he had forgotten all about Jesus. The way I saw it, he hadn’t received his divine instructions yet, so he and his friends went back to the place that Jesus had found them in the state that Jesus had found them. He went back to the last place where God had him. The last place where God spoke to him.

This filled me with hope. I had done the same. I went back to the place where I first found God. I was a little over two years into my new job when Jesus found me. I also left everything behind when He called me, and after going through my own refinement, returned to the place where God found me, this time happy to wait…

The environment hadn’t changed, the job hadn’t changed, it was me who had changed. Like the old saying goes, “I being in the way, the Lord met me.”

So why did Peter go back?

“The best preparation for Christ’s appearance , and the best attitude to be found in by Him, is doing our daily work, however secular and small it may be. A dirty, wet fishing boat, all slimy with scales, was a strange place in which to wait for the manifestation of a risen savior. But it was the right place, righter than if they had been wandering about amongst the fancied sanctities of the synangogues… Jesus Christ will come to you and me in the street if we carry the waiting heart there, and in the shop, and the factory, and the counting-house, and the kitchen, and the nursery and the study, or wherever we may be. For all things are sacred when done with a hallowed heart, and He chooses to make Himself known to us amidst the dusty commonplaces of daily life.” MacLaren’s beautiful words once again!

I read that line and in that moment my heart exploded. This truth that has just permeated my being since my year in refinement. I, like Peter had made so many mistakes,-so much unbelief, twisted perceptions and looking for God in places that I had no business being. I, like many wanted a new and different life. I had hoped my call as a Christian writer might lead me to “bigger and better” things. I saw my secular career as something I wanted to let go of, someplace God could never use. I thought that this placement was not intentional by God, that there was something “bigger” out there for me. So he let me leave my life behind and try a different life, the one I had envisioned in my dreams. He didn’t leave me, He just stayed quietly by me. And when I messed up He picked me up, He never let me go to far- and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil…

Peter’s return to his fishing boat is the quiet yet powerful reminder to go back to the last thing God told you to do. Had Peter been anywhere else, he would have missed his calling. God may have waited, but the story may have ended up different. And as Catholics, we believe that Peter was the first pope.

So if you are in the stage of your journey where you are unsure about where you are- the place, your state in life as a single person, your job, don’t doubt for a second that if God has not moved you, you are right where you are supposed to be. Go to the place where God found you, be in the state where God found you… he doesn’t want you to be anywhere else.

“And be sure that sooner or later you will see Him standing on the beach, and hear His voice, and be blessed by His smile.”

MacLaren’s beautiful words 

 

 

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12 thoughts on “Unsure where to go? To the last place where God met you

    1. It took me awhile to get here myself. Its counter cultural and counter the popular message of the church that says you should be somewhere else!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Every thing you write is so profound but this one is on top of the my LIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO GOOD!!!!!!! Carry the waiting HEART!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Church Set Free and commented:
    “I had hoped my call as a Christian writer might lead me to “bigger and better” things. I saw my secular career as something I wanted to let go of, someplace God could never use. I thought that this placement was not intentional by God, that there was something “bigger” out there for me. So he let me leave my life behind and try a different life, the one I had envisioned in my dreams. He didn’t leave me, He just stayed quietly by me.”

    If you know Melissa you will know she is beautifully vulnerable. She writes stuff so many only think. So many fearful of what others might think (and even say back).

    And they have “said back” to Melissa – as she acknowledges. And yet …

    You really should read the whole post.

    (as usual, comments are disabled here – please comment over at Melissa’s place, thank you)

    Paul

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Paul. Being vulnerable is always hard- the things I think but don’t want to say out loud. But then I think, that makes me human and real. I just refuse to be part of this culture which wants to tell me who to be. But at the same time, I still struggle with it, ugly monster that it is. I am hoping one day I will wake up and embrace all that I am in Him. Love to you- M

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “I still struggle with it, ugly monster that it is.”
        Or just a curious fearful culture which is a reflection of who we are. Or who we could become. Or who we want to be different from. Or simply where we are right now. I wonder if “the ugly monster” night be more like a current in the sea. And when we learn to float, swim, glide with the current we can be safe and vulnerable (and far less exhausted).
        Maybe.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s a wonderful thought Paul. I remember reading a meditation that asked why we weren’t more like the fish swimming with the current, why we always had to be pushing against it. I am learning that we are all not so different after all, that we are all searching for truth and purpose, that we all hurt, that we all seek love and approval. I am learning for myself that I don’t always have to fight for my life, that maybe just maybe I don’t have to fight at all. And that maybe having a desk job is the best thing that could ever happened to me 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Sis, it’s been a while and yet the Lord’s timing is always right! I struggled for years with my secular job AND being (trying to be) a Pastor at the same time. How do you divide your time so it is a testimony of Christ to others?! I just KNEW I would be going Full-time into the ministry and even to the point of starting my own church some day and every time I would make a move, the doors would slam shut in my face. I spent a lot of years questioning my calling AND my direction until one day I read something by Don Moen, a Worship leader, Pastor and Author that caused/allowed me to recognize the Holy Spirit right where I was!
    I never got to be full-time in a brick and mortar church though I have spent most of my life in ministry alongside others, but when I became disabled to the point of having to retire from my secular job, the Lord opened up the door to others who were hurting and disabled and pretty much abandoned by the “brick and mortar” churches and it wasn’t until many, many years later that someone pointed out to me the many “members” I had in a “virtual congregation” back then! I have been able to touch more lives (even in real time) because the Holy Spirit was doing the leading and I didn’t abandon my calling just because MY expectations didn’t come to fruition. All the time spent counselling with others, preaching and teaching behind the pulpit as well as other areas of ministry in the “real” world, prepared me for a sometimes more rigorous application of my ministry to countless others I would never have met or touched!
    Even today when dealing with what seems like unending pain in my body, I find that Jesus through His Holy Spirit, keeps me right where He wants me to be and I don’t have to compromise truth, the Scriptures or my real love for Him and despite what some think of my writing (especially lately) my love for others!!!
    This was a REAL and timely inspiration AND encouragement and I KNOW it was the Holy Spirit who opened it to me! I can thank brother Paul because I saw it on Facebook through Church Set Free! Thanks Sis, and God bless YOU richly and greatly!!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Pastor and so good to hear from you! It’s such a struggle sometimes, isn’t it? But when we realize this truth, we are free to live in His glory. I pray that all who read my words would know that they are ENOUGH. That they were created perfectly by the Master Maker, and that they accept who they are in God’s eyes, and not the world’s. Love to you my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

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