Watching from the Shore

Lou Lotz

Read: John 21:1-14

Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore. (v. 4)

It happened “just as day was breaking.” A pencil line of pink across the eastern horizon, and patches of mist and fog rising up from the water. The gentle sound of waves slapping against the boat. Blazing torches held aloft as tired, frustrated fishermen gaze at the surface of the sea, looking in vain for a flash of silver signaling a school of fish. They are worn out and weary after working all night and having nothing to show for it but aching muscles and empty nets. That’s when a voice called to them from the shore, saying, “Children, do you have any fish?” The disciples thought that they were alone, but Jesus had been watching them all the while.

Is it too much to say that what happened that day on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias happens still today in your life and mine? There we are in our little boats, you and me, worn out and weary, casting our nets and hauling them in empty, frustrated by failure, and thinking that we are alone. But the risen Lord who stands on the shore of eternity has been watching us all along.

Looking back over my life, it is in my futility and failure, not my successes, that I have most forcefully felt the presence of Christ, inviting me to cast my nets to the other side. And that’s when I remember what I never should have forgotten—that I am not alone. —Lou Lotz

As you pray, thank God for his constant presence.