This past school year I have been attending a Bible Study on the Gospel of John. Last Thursday we completed the study with chapter 21. In this chapter, following Simon Peter’s lead, the disciples return to their former life of fishing on the sea of Galilee rather than waiting for the Lord as instructed. They fished all night and caught nothing. At daybreak a “stranger” walking along the shore calls out to them and inquires about their catch. Sadly they respond that they have no fish. Then the “stranger” instructs them to cast their nets on the other side, and He tells them they will find fish. At this instruction, and the catch of 153 fish that followed, the disciples realize that the stranger on shore is the resurrected Jesus. When they arrive they hear His invitation, “Come and dine,” and they discover that He already has fish and bread on the fire. They had obeyed His command to fish on the other side, and I think that it reminded them they were supposed to be fishers of men. Jesus didn’t really need the fish they had caught because He already had their needs supplied when they arrived.
As I studied this chapter my heart was full and overwhelmed – much like the nets of the disciples when they hauled in 153 fish. As I reflected on all that God has done in preparing the way for us to move to Brooklyn, I was amazed at the goodness of God. You see He already has the fish on the fire, and we have not even arrived yet! As we found confirmation of His call to Brooklyn, and obeyed in preparing to be “fishers of men” in that place, we have found that He has the meal prepared to meet our physical needs. Let me share some of my “fish” with you!
Once we had the answer to our prayers and confirmation of God’s leading to work at Bethel Baptist Fellowship, the blessings began to pour out. First, we sold our second vehicle for more money than we expected on the very first day that we had it listed for sale. Then I prayed for a washing machine in my apartment, which is rare in Brooklyn. God provided us an apartment complete with a washer! This was a huge blessing and “token for good” in my life! The apartment is offered at a low price for it’s location and size, and our landlords are Christian people. These are things above and beyond all that we could ask or think!
I was able to sell some of our furniture and make a good amount of money on my “yard” sale. When I needed boxes for packing, I asked the Lord to provide some and He did so – for FREE! People at church have given us boxes. Friends sent us money to help with moving expenses and their generosity will pay for the moving truck, gas, and tolls to get us to Brooklyn. My parents have paid the deposit on our apartment so that we can save some of our money. They are coming to help us move from Virginia Beach, and Ben’s family is coming down from Massachusetts to help us unload.
When we went to Brooklyn to sign the lease this weekend, we were informed that we would have free – yes FREE – internet access in the apartment! Then the church family at Bethel stocked our kitchen with all kinds of food staples and cleaning supplies. When the Bickel’s told us that they had some things for our apartment I didn’t know what they meant. When I saw the boxes and bags that Ben unloaded from the car I was overwhelmed. I can barely believe that God would even want to use me in Brooklyn, and then I see how He is opening the way for us, step by step. “What is impossible when God is on your side?”
To summarize, let me borrow the words of Hannah from 1 Samuel 2, after God answered her prayer for a child.
“And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation. There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.”