How many times do we kick ourselves for not learning the first time?
About eight months after I left my husband, I was driving back to my new city after visiting my hometown, and something in me snapped. I can only explain it as a “God Moment”.
I started crying uncontrollably and wasn’t able to stop thinking about or missing my hubby. I didn’t know why this started happening, at the time I thought that I was fine. I had just left from a great weekend visit with the family, I was returning to my city where I was happy and loving life…but something in me was randomly triggered and it could only have been God. I hadn’t seen my estranged hubby when I was in my hometown, I hadn’t thought much about him, and I hadn’t been missing our marriage or life together. Until the moment, about ten minutes out of town at the beginning of a nine hour drive back to where I was living.
The tears wouldn’t stop coming, just pouring down, and I remember telling myself that if they lasted until a certain point, I would call him.
They kept coming down until that point, my mind racing with memories and trying to control myself, but they kept coming. So I dared myself to pick up the phone and call my husband.
That night’s phone call turned into three months of my husband and I dating again, trying to get to know each other after several months of being apart. Long distance was hard, but I wasn’t ready to move back to my old hometown. We trudged through some hard moments and smiled through some great ones.
A couple trips back and forth, many many phone calls and skype dates, flowers at the office and love notes…it was hard, it was a struggle, being apart for those few months had created some walls, but there were amazing moments too.
After three months, the “feelings” had simmered for me. The novelty of it had worn off and I was convinced that it wouldn’t work. So, painfully, awfully…regrettably, I ended our dating and put a stop to ‘us’ a second time.
There are so many excuses I could have used, and did, but now that I am in a healthy place with God, I look back and know that there is one single reason that this second attempt at being together didn’t work. I (and we) wasn’t putting God at the centre.
In Luke 5:1-9 Simon is instructed by Jesus to do something he should know how to do. Fish. Possibly rolling his eyes and thinking “Jesus, I got this. I know what I’m doing, I’ve been doing it for years!” Simon takes the boat out a second time, after failing the first time I might add, and throws the net over the side of the boat. And what does he find? After following Jesus’ instructions, Simon finds success.
Jesus was at the centre of this miracle showing Simon something he was sure he knew how to do on his own. Simon, having failed earlier that day, finally has success when Jesus is directing.
Awe. That’s nice. Good for Simon, he allowed Jesus to be in control and saw a miracle!
But have you ever realized that this same miracle happened to the same guy in the same boat on the same sea with the same Jesus just a little while later?
John 21:4. Simon is fishing with some disciples just after Jesus has died and when they return to shore, after a night of frustrating failure, with no fish to speak of, Jesus instructs them to fish again. This time on the other side of the boat.
They do it, because who wouldn’t listen to a stranger telling you how to do your job in the early light of the morning?
And once more, a miracle happens. The same miracle to the same man.
Once again, Simon has success when he puts Jesus at the centre of what he thought he knew. When he follows Jesus’ instructions, a miracle ensues.
Had I (we) allowed Jesus to be in control and in the centre of what we thought we knew, our second attempt at mending our marriage would have been a success. But instead, we tried to fix the mountain of a messed up marriage by ourselves, not bringing God into the mix and not listening for his instruction. For a second time.
I’m glad that Simon had to see this miracle two times. I wonder if he got the point after the second time? I see this as hope, that even though Simon walked with Jesus, talked with him, had a friendship with him and saw first hand the miracles preformed in Jesus’ ministry, he still needed to see one in his own life. Twice.
Not only is it hope for me that someone so intimately connected to Jesus needed this, but it’s hope to see that Jesus didn’t just give up after Simon didn’t get the point the first time. He didn’t think “Well, I tried!” but he showed Simon again.
God showed me a miracle twice.
Twice he brought me back to him. The first time, I didn’t get it. I saw the God Moment that initially brought me back to my marriage, but I didn’t see that it meant my God was ever-powerful and that I needed to fully envelope myself in him in order to have success.
The second time I saw it completely. In an instant, for an unknown reason, God triggered something in me that couldn’t be denied. It was a God Moment! I would have never thought it was possible to be completely changed the way I was, but all things are possible with my God and I see that now!
Thank God he didn’t give up the first time! Thank God he tried again and made sure I knew that it was a miracle. My God is relentless and you don’t know how thankful I am for that!
Simon walked with Jesus and he needed to experience the same miracle twice before he understood. How much more do we need to experience a miracle to understand? How much more should we have patience with those around us as they experience miracles and don’t understand them the first time?
Just because the same miracle is preformed twice…doesn’t make it any less of a miracle.
God must have a purpose if he wants to show someone something so big…twice…