Sometimes we find ourselves throwing our hands in the air just wanting to give up. Whether due to problems in our work life or issues within our family, or even wondering if God is listening to us.

This was the case with me recently. I own a manufacturing business, and it seemed to me that for the last couple of weeks, 22 years of hard work and investment were going down the tubes. If it wasn’t dealing with employee issues, it was problems with customers that were caused by themselves due to poor scheduling and planning, that in turn became my problems… It seemed to be running rampant. I had a friend who had a saying that was starting to resonate: “You can’t fix Stupid… But you can fix what Stupid Does” I was beginning to doubt that statement. Pressure was building so I talked to a fellow pastor. I told him I needed to get away from the stress. He prayed with me and suggested that was the right thing to do. I went home and told my wife we were leaving in the morning. At 5:00 am the next morning we were on the road. I didn’t turn on my phone I didn’t check my e-mail…I went away to get away.

I went to Church that following Sunday 600 miles from home… I had visited the Church before but had no conversation with the pastor. I was just another “visitor”. The message was from John 21:2-13. Simon Peter, Thomas who was called Didymus, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. 3 Simon Peter *said to them, “I am going fishing.” They *said to him, “We are also coming with you.” They went out and got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.

Peter was overwhelmed with everything that had happened since the crucifixion and the resurrection, so he told the other Disciples “He was going fishing” The other disciples said we are going with you. They fished all night long and caught nothing. The next morning Jesus appeared to them again and told them to “fish on the other side of the boat”. They caught so many fish (153), that Jesus was waiting for them on the beach with a fire ready to prepare the catch for breakfast.
Sometimes we need to “Go-Fishing” and get away for a while to give ourselves a rest from Life. But we must remind ourselves when we “Go-Fishing” we must bring Jesus along to make it all worthwhile.

This message resonated with me and there was no doubt the Holy Spirit laid this message on Pastor Brook’s heart for a “Visitor”.

John Swonger – Executive Board Member