Pre-pandemic pause, we said:
If only…we weren’t so busy.
If only…we had more time.
If only…the family could do more together.
During this pandemic pause, we say:
If only…this had never happened.
If only…I had my own space.
If only…we could go back to normal.
[Please note: This pandemic hasn’t thrust us into the same boat, but into the same storm. So, truly, people say lots of different things to express their experience from their perspective in their boat in the storm. All valid.]
If only…we could wish ourselves out of whatever situation we’re in.
Instead, how about being present, whatever that means, no matter how hard. Let’s fully experience it, feel the feelings, do our best, and move forward to the next right thing, whatever that might be?
After the crucifixion, the disciples did their best. Confused, they did their next right thing. And the resurrected Jesus met them there, in their “normal” as fishermen, because that’s what they knew how to do.
Whatever you do. Whatever your “next,” do what you need to do.
Jesus will meet you there. Always and forever, He loves you. He can’t wait to be with you.
In case one of your “next right things” is spending time with Jesus, here are some questions to guide you…
When recently have you said, or heard someone say, “If only…”?
Read aloud John 21:1-14.
Why did Peter decide to go fishing, and why did the others go along (vv2-4)?
How did “the disciple whom Jesus loved” recognize Jesus (vv4-7)?
Why did Peter get dressed and jump in the water (v7)?
Why do you think Jesus helped the disciples catch fish (v6) and asked for some of their fish (v10) when He already had fish (v9)? What might that tell us about Jesus? About us?
How do you understand the disciples’ reaction to Jesus (v12)?
What regular activities do you do to distract yourself from feelings of “If only…”? Do they help?
Share some of the healthy ways you deal with negative emotions.
How do you recognize Jesus when He shows up?
What have you heard Jesus saying to you during shelter-in-place?
If you can, share about a time when you witnessed Jesus do something remarkable.
Where in your life would you especially like Jesus to show up?
What is God saying to you through this passage, and what will you do about it?
Pray for God to do more than you can ask or imagine.
Family Share Questions
Use these questions to reflect on John 21:1-14 individually and with your family:
What miracle does Jesus do in this story? How do you think the disciples felt about it?
What miracles would you like to see Jesus do in the world today? In your own life?
Pray for God to be powerfully present in your life.