Everyone else was asleep while they worked. Seasoned fishermen knew this could well be a catch to remember. The weather and the conditions of the water were absolutely perfect for fish and lots of them. Out they went, full of anticipation of the catch they would harvest.
They were in their boats all night and didn’t catch one single fish, not even one suitable for bait. They were stunned, disappointed to say the least and maybe even a little mad. They couldn’t believe it. Everything was perfect, how could they have been so wrong?
Have you ever been there? You knew in your gut you did everything right – you prayed, planned and made provision for that one thing that could well have been your last step, the provision for your upcoming winter season. You were ready, excited and believing not only yourself, but GOD that this was your moment…only to have absolutely nothing to show for your efforts.
So there you are, like Peter and his buddies, on the shoreline, tired, disappointed, washing dirty nets, with no result to show for your effort. Should they quit fishing? Would you?
Sometimes despite our best efforts, even after we’ve sought God’s will and His blessing even in the area(s) we are really, really good at, things don’t turn out like we expect them to. I believe these things have two purposes: 1) to teach us our ‘good catches’ don’t come from our own hands and 2) just because we think we know everything there is to know, do everything right and by the book, that doesn’t ensure perfect results.
Peter was an expert fisherman making his living fishing. He probably knew everything about where he was fishing and all the signs to look for before he sat out that night. He had it going on where his craft was concerned, yet he caught nothing. There he was, on the shoreline, cleaning his nets of everything that accumulated in them – less fish – which had to sting a little – a hands-on reminder that perhaps he didn’t know as much as he thought he did, his all-night effort for nothing, or a combination of both.
Then Jesus shows up, gets in his boat to preach and after He’s finished, tells Peter to set out again and this time, go to the DEEP water.
Peter had two choices. He could have presented a viable argument to Jesus – “Look I’m a fisherman – fishing is what I do. I make my living fishing. In addition to that, I’ve been out there all dadgum night and caught nothing; nada. To go back out, and to the deep no less, is…well…it makes no sense.” Instead, as tired and discouraged as he undoubtedly was, he decided to do what Jesus told him to. The end result changed Peter’s life forever.
What will we do?
- I lost my temper today and had every right to BUT because you say it’s right, I’ll apologize.
- Had my heart broken so many times by people I thought I could trust and depend on BUT because You say so, Lord, I will forgive and even bless them.
- I did my very best at my job, everything I was asked and more, but didn’t get the promotion BUT because You say I should, I will keep on doing my best.
Do you dare trust God one more time? Do you dare allow His word to supersede even your best judgment and experience? Do you dare say, “BUT I will do as You say…”?
Disappointments in life will surely come, even to those who have never experienced them. That’s no time to quit or not believe in what is possible through the One who loves us the most, the One who wants more than anything to show us He has your best interest in mind, even when He allows things to come our way which He knows will deeply hurt and disappoint us. Do we have a ‘but’ kind of faith? Let’s do, just because He says so and see what happens.
“But when Simon Peter saw that he fell down at Jesus’ feet saying “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man, O Lord! For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken.” Luke 5:8, 9
May the ‘nets’ of our hearts be as full of hope and amazement as those boats were of fish that day.