2009-05-06 / Religion

'When You Don't Know What To Do'


(Pastor James Scarborough, Donalsonville Assembly of God)

While traveling the other day in another part of the state, I came upon a sign stating that the road was closed to through traffic. Looking back, I suppose that that was enough information to let me know to take an alternate route. But at the moment I was not completely sure what I was supposed to do.

My question in the matter was because it was a small barricade across only one lane of a four lane major highway. Additionally, traffic appeared to be flowing freely in both directions with no apparent obstacles. Realizing that many roadways had been closed by recent floods, I wondered if it was simply a barricade that had not yet been removed.

I decided to go ahead and if there was a reason to turn back, I would. We drove several miles without seeing any traffic hindrances and noted that vehicles were still coming and going as usual. The problem came after driving nine miles after we first saw the sign about the road being closed. There was a local patrol car stopped, with blue lights flashing, in front of another sign with the same message about the road being closed to through traffic. I politely stopped and inquired about the closure and got a severe tongue lashing about going through the sign in the previous town!

I thanked him, followed his directions and went safely on my way. (When we came back through two days later the road was opened, but I noticed that a railroad crossing had been repaired. Because there are few paved roads in that part of the state it necessitated the closure several miles away).

Was my intention to ignore the law? Absolutely not. Did I do the wrong thing? I did, but it was not because I meant to. Was it necessary for the officer to address me in the harsh manner that he did? I will not answer that one--I am just thankful he did not decide to lock me up for the night!

There are times in life when we are just not quite sure what to do. That might have been the case with Peter in John 21. He and his companions had experienced more during the arrest, crucifixion and resurrection of their Master than they could process. Their next steps were not yet crystal clear, so Peter said, "I'm going out to fish" (verse 3, NIV). The other disciples joined him.

Perhaps he suggested the fishing trip out of the need for financial income, or maybe he needed to calm his mind, or maybe he simply did no know what else to do. Even if we cannot be sure about all the whys, there are several things in this account that we can draw guidance from. Included among them is the reminder that the Lord extends compassion and care to His children even in those times when we do not know what to do.

When the disciples came to shore where Christ was, they found that He had prepared a meal for them: "Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish" (verse 13).

Perhaps this caused them to recall other times that they had shared meals together. And without a doubt, it demonstrated to them once more His care and compassion for people.

Even when you do not know what to do at the moment, never forget the love, care, and compassion that God has for you.

Return to top