As I opened the last packing box in our new kitchen, I realized we had finished a year-long journey. And what a journey it was! We hadn’t just moved across town or to a different part of the state. We had downsized thirty-nine years of married life, downsized eighteen years in our previous home, and moved 1,263 miles away. You can imagine the challenges, especially when you consider Covid. Unwrapping the fifth dinner plate that used to complete a set of six, I was reminded of the other expressions of brokenness we had experienced along the way. But, we had done it. The last box was, the last box.
A lifeline for me along the emotional roller coaster of our move was a bible study on the book of John by NavPress. Now, at the end of both our move and my study, the author encouraged me to look through the previous application questions. Had my thinking changed? Had new behaviors been added to my life? Or was my study nothing more than a sightseeing book used on our journey but then quickly forgotten once arrived.
Even though I had read through Jesus’ parting words recorded in John 14:1-16:33 previously, I felt like I was hearing those words for the first time with the disciples. I had so many questions, so much unknown, such heavy grief. And yet, Jesus’ words held such intimate promises; glimpses of a future not yet fulfilled. As I tried to personalize those words, I wrote down “less sadness, more trust”.
Then later in the final chapter of John we see the disciples bewildered, frightened and heavy hearted. They are not sure what to do after the resurrection. In John 21:1-25, they go back to what they had known. Peter initiated a fishing excursion. Not only did Peter experience the same emotions as the others, but he had fulfilled Jesus’ prediction. He had denied the one he so loved. I can only imagine the depth of that pain. But, Peter was still a leader so the others went along. You know what happens. They fish all night and catch nothing. Amazingly a stranger on the bank suggests they try the other side of the boat. The catch is more than they can haul in. But wait! This has happened before. And in a moment of clarity Peter remembers the first time the Lord asked him to trust him for a catch. I heard again the echo of “less sadness, more trust.”
Those are the words I will take from the study and from our move. Hopefully they will impact the way I live each day going forward. Less sadness, more trust. Perhaps you are at a point in your life right now when those words ring true for you. I know I am.