Good morning Holy Spirit. Thank you for the time off yesterday. Now please bless us as we resume whatever it is we’ll be doing today.
Right after the resurrection of Jesus, several of the disciples left Jerusalem and went home to Galilee. Why? Maybe they were grieving the future they believed was torn from them. Perhaps they were feeling unsettled. Maybe they needed something to focus on while they processed their Messiah’s death?
John Recorded This:
John 21:3, “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you…”
Struggling With Loss
When people grieve the loss of a family member, close friend, or loved one, a challenge they face is getting through the days and nights. The pain of loss makes the days feel like weeks and the weeks like months. Time seems to stand still. When it does, the grieving magnifies. With nothing to do and nothing but time to do it with, the daily experience of grief can be brutal, and interminable.
Let’s Go Fishing
My encouragement is to take a page from the disciples. Find something to do, something you enjoy, perhaps even challenging or new.
My encouragement is to find something that helps manage the pain. Peter and the disciples didn’t understand why Jesus died, at least not at that point. They were hurting and they were grieving over Judas, the crucifixion, the denials, and the abandoning of their Rabbi. Jesus had resurrected, but they didn’t understand.
They had two choices: (1) To sit around feeling sad and sorry for themselves, slowly sinking into depression. Or (2) To get up and do something productive, expend some energy; get through the days by having something else to think about. The 2nd choice wouldn’t eliminate their grief, just help them cope with it.
A Few Suggestions
If you are grieving and have too much empty time then consider:
- Volunteering at a local shelter, food bank, or lunch program; helping someone who may be in worse circumstances than you.
- Get involved with a ministry at your church. Help with something. Become a greeter. Greeters have to be warm and friendly, it will do you good.
- Start a project. Plant a garden. Paint a room. Do something needing to be done.
- Be creative. Paint a picture, redecorate a room, write a poem, or start attending concerts, plays, and musicals.
- Get fit. Start walking. Swim a lap or two. Drop some weight if you can. Follow your Doctors orders regarding your medical care, but as you are able, get in better shape.
Here’s The Thing
The thing is, all these require two essential elements:
- The will to get up and go fishing, or something!
- The energy to make it happen.
It can be hard to get up, to get out of bed, and be productive. But if you will then you can engage your mind, heart, and body in something worthwhile, and it will help you. It’s not a magical pill to dissolve your grief, but it will help.
“Let’s go fishing,” Peter said. They weren’t fly fishing in the Colorado Mountains. They were casting their nets; they were working and being productive. It’s what they could do.
Fly fishing sounds pretty good too.
God Bless You