Praying til Pentecost Day 26
"Bring some of the fish which you have now caught." John 21:10
"Come and have breakfast!" John 21:12
I love the invitation that the Risen Lord gave to His disciples. "Come and have breakfast." After they had been working all night long, Jesus points them to a great catch, and then prepares a warm fire and a fresh meal for His men. Maybe this is the forerunner of all those men's prayer breakfast that I have attended over the years.
Yesterday, I visited with an old friend of mine in Fort Worth. We have been able to stay in touch for over 30 years, but we do not get to see each other very often. He asked me to meet him for a cup of coffee before I headed back to The Bay. He wanted to know if I knew where the I-Hop was on Interstate 30 at East Chase. I told him I thought I could find it. The truth is, I could have driven there in my sleep. For six years, I took my daughters to breakfast two mornngs a week at that same I-HOP from 1992-1998.
Actually, from 1987-2001, I would take one daughter to breakfast on Thursday and the other on Friday. This is one of the smartest moves in parenting I ever made. I went to a lot of really bad "Burgee Keen" and "Mickey D" breakfasts before they discovered the I-HOP difference in 1992! I can't tell you how relieved I was to finally have a decent meal. The truth is, the breakfast time with them was never really about the meal. It was all about me spending time with my little girls and trying to build a personal relationship with them. I would hold the car door for them, and the open the door to the restaurant. I would hold the chair for them at the table, and treat them with every kind of respect that they deserved. I was coaching them on what to expect from a man. I would tell them when they were thumbsucking young to repeat these words if a boy ever tried to take them on a date and did not treat them with the respect they deserved. "TAKE ME HOME!"
A friend of mine had told me that rules without relationship always build rebellion. Early years in my ministry had been spent as a youth pastor, refereeing arguments between clueless parents and rebellious teens. I was determined to be more than a remote rule book to my girls in preparing them for the game of life. It was time well spent, and I do not regret a moment of it.
When we left Fort Worth to move to Georgia, the waitresses met us at our table to say goodbye. One of them said, "We have watched your daughters grow up here." That was the truth. My daughters grew from 12 years to 18 years of age, and 9 years to 15 years of age. They had moved from little girls to young women, and the waitresses had witnessed every stage in their rise to womanhood. That was not all. As I looked around the room in 1998, I could see other dads with their daughters. It had not gone unnoticed that I was having breakfast with my girls every week, and over the years the dads in the area got the message. They began to do the same thing with their girls. Yesterday walking around that IHOP was like stepping on holy ground for me. It was a real blast from the past. Later that evening, I met my daughters for dinner. They are now 30 and 26 years of age and accomplished, successful young women. I bought them dinner, but they took me out shopping and bought me a shirt and a pair of jeans for my birthday. We laughed and talked, and thoroughly enjoyed each other's company. I can't help but believe that the joy we had last night was connected to the breakfasts we shared all those mornings years ago.
Can you believe the invitation? "Come and have breakfast!" It is just like the Risen Lord to know what His disciples needed before they asked. He already had breakfast cooking before they hauled in and counted their catch.
They were encouraged to bring to the table what they had caught, but Jesus had everything under control. He has never been in need of our contribution to His Kingdom. He always invites us to participate in what He is already doing. His invitation was more about renewing their connection with Him than it was about the meal. Simpy put, the disciples needed to reconnect with Jesus. He offered them physical and spiritual nourishment at the same time. This is what I like to call the perfect comfort food.
I know that every one is not a morning person. I just want to remind people that mornings and evenings are the same to Jesus. There are no dawns and sunsets in heaven. There is only perpetual worship and fellowship at the throne of God. The Risen Lord has taken His seat at the right hand of the Father and He lives to intercede for you and me. There is never a moment of the day or night that He is not available to reconnect with His followers. Breakfast is served all day long at the International House of Prayer. The kitchen is open, and He is prepared to serve what you need the most, a fresh sense of His Presence.
Quote of the Day: "Come and have breakfast." Jesus