A recent study from the CDC reveals the negative mental health impacts across our country throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and the results aren’t good. 11% of people seriously considered suicide, 13% started or increased substance abuse and 31% showed symptoms of anxiety or depression. Clearly, there is a correlation to being isolated, panic-stricken, going through grief and without options to declining mental wellness. It feels as though we are in a world-wide dip.
Although not covered in most studies or magazines, there is good news remaining amid all this bad: there is Someone who sees us in our suffering, who wants to get right into the muck with us and help us out. His way brings us out of despair and sets us on hope when everything feels dim.
Simon Peter from the Scriptures experienced this kind of encounter first-hand, and his experience shows us what it means to feel undone and be put back together by Jesus.
One day, Simon Peter was fishing all night but not catching anything. The next morning, Jesus saw that Simon Peter was struggling and called out to him: “One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets” (Luke 5: 1-2). While everybody else was hanging on Jesus’ every word, these fishermen were on edge, “washing their nets.”
But Jesus saw them wrapping up their night of work and still came over to ask if He could get into their boat and finish teaching the crowd. They agreed, but can you picture the look that must have been on Simon Peter’s face? He was exhausted, his blistered hands were washing his nets, and then this guy walked over and asked them to go back out.
Jesus said, “I’m going to get in your boat and preach a sermon.” And Simon Peter probably thought, how long is the sermon? He didn’t want to be there. He didn’t want to listen to some stranger. He wanted to go home. But for some reason, Simon Peter agreed, and for his effort, he got a front-row seat to hear the greatest teacher the world has ever known. Watch this: Peter was no longer on the edge.
Jesus sees you on the edge. He sees you on the edge of disappointment and discouragement, no matter how large or small the suffering seems to you. Whether you lost a loved one to COVID-19, a job or an exciting trip you’d eagerly anticipated, Jesus sees you, and He cares. And Jesus says, “I don’t want you there. I want you by Me.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Shaun Nepstad