A Heart That Jumps

Justin Smith


John 21:7

Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.


After a long day of work and what seemed like an eternity in traffic, I gathered all of my things in the car and slowly made my way to the door. With the weight of what transpired that day still heavy on my heart, I slowly opened the front door to my home, and before I could take one step in I was welcomed with shreeks of sheer joy as my children screamed “daddy”, dropping everything they were doing to spend a moment near me. That child’s heart came to mind this morning, as I read Peter’s response to Jesus’ presence. Let’s not forget that Peter was the one who, not long ago, denied and betrayed Jesus multiple times. Let’s not forget that when tested he failed to the pressures of the world, but leave it up to Peter to not shrink back in shame, to not run and hide in fear, to not allow the guilt of his wrong doing to dictate his actions. As soon as he recognized Jesus, without hesitation, he dropped everything and jumped just to be near Him, to stand in His presence, to go where He was. He couldn’t wait even the few moments for the boat to go a couple hundred yards to shore, rather, his heart jumped within him and his feet could not help but follow.


I wonder what it was that caused Peter to react like this. Whether it was when he walked on water or here where he dove in head first, Peter had a deep understanding that wherever Jesus was, he needed to be. Was it for the blessing? Was it for the love? Was it because he was so desperate to know and understand? Whatever it was, he made sure that he was as close to Jesus as possible. I desire to have a heart like this. How many times have I sat back, comfortable in the boat, thinking, “I’ll be to shore in a moment, so I might as well just sit back and enjoy the ride. Why get unnecessarily wet, right?” The question should be, “Why not?” What’s stopping me from being where He is right this moment? His presence isn’t in an ark, a temple, or sealed up behind curtains, but it’s available to me now, and now, and even now. How many times have I made excuses and just found complacency where I was rather than did whatever it took to be by His side every moment possible? How many times have I allowed my sin and shortcomings to shame me into shying away from Him? I wonder if that’s why Jesus honored him, for this willingness to just be with Him. May my heart jump at the thought of just being with Jesus, for there is no better place. “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere”. Today is a day of pursuing Jesus, going where He goes, doing what He does, listening to what He says, and just being near.


Heavenly Father, may I never take for granted Your greatness, Your mightyness, Your power, and the honor that it is to be called to You. May my heart jump to be near You, to follow You, to listen to You, and to live for You. I give this day to You.

In Jesus' name, Amen.

Devotions for August 19

Jeremiah 45,46,47
Psalms 105
John 21

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