Last week, we considered some thoughts about our Lord’s appearance, after His resurrection, to His disciples on the shore of the Sea of Galilee (John 21). We found encouragement in knowing that Jesus is with us, just as He was with them. He helps us even in the simple tasks that we consider mundane, and He takes an interest in the humblest matters that relate to our everyday life.
If you missed last week’s article, you can read it here.
Today, let us go back to that picture of the fire burning on the beach, with the fish broiling on the coals, with bread ready to eat, and with the Master Himself standing beside the fire.
The scene meant a great deal to Jesus’ disciples. First of all, it gave them cheer. We have lost much in our modern homes by giving up the old-fashioned fireplace with its blazing logs. The fire on the hearth was a brightener of the home. It is only in a poetical way that we can now talk about our hearthstones.
The fire burning on the sand that spring morning made the shore appear more attractive and hospitable to the tired fishermen. But there was more than a fire on the beach; there were also things to eat and refresh themselves – fish and bread. It seems that the Master Himself kindled the fire. His thought and love provided the breakfast. And it was His very presence that gave the scene its deepest meaning. The human element is always the charm in any scene. There is a story of a picture that seemed to be almost perfect; yet people did not stop to look at it very long, and they were not moved to enthusiastic admiration as they stood before it. It lacked something. The artist discovered what the lack was; and so, taking his brush, he painted a bit of human life on the canvas – a woman and a child – and now the picture had a resistless charm for everyone who saw it.
That lonely beach would have had a certain attraction for those discouraged fishermen that morning, even if they had seen nothing except the fire burning on it. But it was the human form standing beside the fire that gave the scene its chief attraction. Then when we remember Who the Man was that stood in the dim gray of the morning and called to the fishermen, we have no need to seek any further for the reasons why that morning hour was so sacred in the memory of those men forever afterward. They had found their Lord again!
The presence of Christ changes everything, wherever it is recognized. It changed everything for the disciples. The sea had never been so beautiful to their eyes before. The hills had never looked so glorious in their spring verdure. No morning had ever appeared in such radiant splendor as that morning. Their sorrow was changed into joy, and their loneliness into the blessedness of holiest companionship.
So always, when Christ comes into our lives, all things are made new! A letter that was received the other day illustrates this. The writer of the letter has been a Christian for many years – faithful, trusting, helpful, and full of noble deeds. But during the past three months, there has been serious illness in her home; a beloved daughter has been lying in fever. In this experience, the mother has learned – as never before – how real the love of Christ is in the lives of His friends. “No story could be told,” she writes, “which would be more wonderful than the story of the goodness shown to me these months; nothing more nearly reaching the miraculous, than the way Christ has sent comfort and blessing to me and to my sick child.” Then she goes over the story, and it is wonderful indeed. At the moment of need, the right comfort always came. A nurse was necessary, but could not be afforded. Then a message came from an old friend who had not been seen for years, and the nurse was provided. Letters came every day with their sympathy and cheer, just when the mother’s burden seemed too heavy for her to bear. Every memory of the suffering of these months is made bright with some thought of Christ’s love which came at the right moment. Everything has been transfigured for this mother! She found the fire burning on the beach, with fish thereon and bread ready to eat, and the Master standing there as well!
How has the presence of Christ made all things new in your life? How have things changed for you when you have recognized the Savior’s love for you, particularly in a time of sorrow or loneliness?
Share your thoughts, leave your reflections, and ask your questions in the Comments below.
God bless you and your family, this day and always.
All for the King’s glory,
photo by Erin Clark | Lightstock.com
This post is another installment of Miller’s Monday Musings, a weekly series that is published every Monday on our website. The series features selected writings that have been adapted from the works of James Russell Miller (1840-1912), a much-beloved Christian author and pastor who is well-remembered for his practical thoughts on Christian home and family life. Learn more about this weekly series by clicking here.