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Perhaps we are there – our new normal.  Perhaps we should stop splashing about, hoping to grab onto a passing lifeboat and instead, put on our own life preserver and start swimming!  And not just doggy-paddling, but actually making a decision to THRIVE.

After all, we just celebrated how Jesus walked right out of the tomb fulfilling the promise that he would do that very thing.  After all, Jesus walked and talked again with the disciples, even broke bread with them several times over 40 days before he ascended into Heaven.  We serve a living God who keeps his promises, so let’s set our course to THRIVE.  

Perhaps to begin your journey, you need first to get your hat back on straight, because of course your routines truly have been interrupted. Fact is, we have need of establishing a whole new rhythm.  

It is crazy how God reveals things when we ask him and then he kindly confirms them too.  Over the last couple days while asking God for direction in my prayer time, I wrote down what it would take to THRIVE.  And then I got a note from a friend today which included these words:  ‘Like everyone else I was thriving with church and Bible study and even life group, but with Covid-19, all that is on hiatus.  I need to get back to what I know . . .’  She described how her lifelong nemesis, Anxiety, had reared its head again, sleep was disturbed and her attitude was sagging too, and yet she remembered what thriving was like.  

It is my desire to thrive and even to come out of this unusual time as a better, stronger woman – especially from God’s perspective.  I know others want the same thing as well, rather than just bearing up with a tense white-knuckled posture and sore jaw from grinding and clinching at night.  There is a better way.

Oh, and one more thing Jesus did when he saw the disciples—actually the last thing John recorded that Jesus did—he even restored the relationship with Peter who had just denied him three times at his hour of need.  Remember that?

Let’s take a look at that afternoon by the beautiful Sea of Galilee, the big fresh water lake in the land of our Lord, Israel.  

John describes the encounter at waters’ edge in chapter 21, verses 15 through 17:

After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”

Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.

Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”

Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.

A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep."

Jesus asks the question three times until Peter adjusts his answer to the Lord’s meaning of love; Jesus asks the question three times and Peter answers three times.  How many times had Peter denied the Lord?  Three times.  And now, Peter re-ups his love for Jesus and the Lord sees into his heart, restoring their relationship, setting it once again on firm ground.  Peter knew the Lord had forgiven him. . . Jesus made sure of that.

I am so taken by the thought that this was a priority for Jesus.  Peter could let go of that which distracted him and caused him to go against what he believed most in the world:  that Jesus was the one and only Son of God.  Don’t you see?  Because Peter was forgiven, he could then forgive himself too.    

In order for us to thrive,

being ‘right’ with Jesus,

giving him his rightful place,

comes first.  

When you open your eyes tomorrow morning, why not lead with ‘Good Morning, God!  I give you this day – lead me and guide me and help me live like you want me to live, Jesus.  Amen.’  

Friends, let’s thrive!

Christine DiGiacomo

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