The wedding is over. Months in the planning – down to the nittiest of grittiest details. A weekend full of amazing celebration and now…the aftermath. Now What? NOW, the newlyweds move into that perpetual status called marriage. The lifelong, day-in, day-out, routine. It can sound mundane, but it is anything but! There are adventures to be shared, but also life to be lived. There will be hard days and easy days and exhausting days and lazy days. But they will navigate them TOGETHER! Life for them will never be the same! No matter what comes up, there will always be another to consider, another to plan for and with, another to shoulder burdens and inflate joys.

After the crucifixion of Jesus, the disciples were understandably distraught. Their leader, their Lord, had died a brutal death. Questions crept in. Were we deceived? Are we remembering His words correctly? AND THEN, HE ROSE FROM THE DEAD!! Cue the trumpets and joyful hoopla! Jesus, in His resurrected body, appeared to over 500 people. There was NO DOUBT that death had NOT held this man down!

Shortly after Jesus came back to life, He appeared to the disciples several times. These were incredible, jaw-dropping, fantastical reunions! But now what? What is the disciples’ next move? At one point seven of the disciples were sitting together. I imagine them staring at each other in silence. Peter reverted to what he knew and said, “I’m going out to fish.” This had been, after all, his lifelong occupation. The others having nothing better to do said, “We’ll go with you.” (John 21:3) After fishing all night, they caught nothing. Zilch. A man on shore yelled out “Do you have any fish?” Dejectedly they responded “no.” Then this guy says, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” (John 23:5-6) Really? They had been out all night for crying out loud! If there were fish to be caught, they would have caught them. But they did as He said! I don’t know that I would have, but they did. And guess what? They hit the jackpot! A super-full net of fish! Immediately, John says, “It is the Lord!” Peter, living up to his brash, reactionary self, dives right into the water and swims to Jesus. He can’t wait to see Jesus up close again.

And thus began the disciples’ marching orders: “Throw the net on the other side.” Your life as you know it will never be the same. It can’t be. You have encountered the Living God. In everything you do and say you now have Him to consider. And with Him, you can accomplish what you cannot on your own – that which defies nature and explanation. Fish from nothing.

When they got to Jesus, they saw He had prepared breakfast. Bread and fish over a fire. This must have brought to mind the time Jesus miraculously turned small amounts of these same foods into a feast for the masses. (Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44, Luke 9:10-17, John 6:1-15) Now, Jesus tells them to bring some of the massive haul of fish they caught (notably, with His help) to add to what He had begun. The food was already prepared. Jesus’s work was done. They would now carry on His work.

Jesus provided the basics: the bread of life, and the sustenance of the message. Now they would take the spiritual nutrition far and wide. They would no longer fish for meat but for men. (Luke 5:10) This was their call all along. The intention of Jesus’s statement then and now to “follow me.” (John 21:19) But they were just now grasping the magnitude of what that meant. It was GO TIME. And they knew the potential cost.

A wedding is a beautiful event. The marriage, however, is the point. The wedding is a segue into a lifetime of enrichment.  Enrichment because it doesn’t come “rich.” It is EN-riched through emerging on the other side of the toil of the good, bad, and the ugly.

Giving our life to Jesus gives us abundance beyond what we can comprehend. It is exciting. But living in relationship with Him is the point. Accomplishing His will and bringing Him glory in all that we do. This too, enriches us on a higher plane than any earthly thing can.

The commitment is followed by, “Now what?” Now, friends, we dig into the journey. We learn. We grow. We come to a deeper knowledge and trust with every trial, every jubilation, and every mundane activity. We wait expectantly for our Savior and King to come gather us to take us home to be with Him for eternity. But without a doubt, life will never be the same!