Oh, how I want to have grandeur faith that always believes, hopes, and trusts. Does he not always provide? Does he not always come through at the opportune time? And when all seems bleak and you feel you won’t survive, you make it through. Somehow, some way. How much more of return would we see and experience if we only held fast to hope?
In Luke 5, Jesus was preaching from a boat. He told Simon Peter to repeat his basic, daily life skill. Simon tried to convince Jesus of how pointless that would be from a fish-less night of fishing. He obeyed anyway. I’m so glad he did. When he and the other disciples lowered their nets, yet again, then came the abundance. The overflowing, astonishing amount of fish that filled up their boats, causing them to sink, and required extra arms to lift and receive.
It takes humility to take direction from someone when you’re a master in your craft. These men were professional fisherman. They lived this day in and day out. Jesus was a carpenter’s son. They listened to him. It takes courage to do something again when it’s failed thousands of times. I can’t imagine how tired these men were after fishing all night. Who knows if they had eaten? Even with tired bodies and hungry bellies, they denied their immediate wants to listen to Jesus’ guiding voice. Not to mention the willingness to forgo their doubts. Simon Peter was hesitant, you can hear it has he explains to Jesus how they worked all night, but they still obeyed. I appreciate Luke including Simon Peter’s thoughts here so we can relate to him. How many times do I have to pray over this, Lord? How many times do I have to go to this dead-end job? How many times do I have to repeat to my toddler the same phrases? Must I rock him to sleep AGAIN? How many times do I have to wash the dishes? Pile after pile of paperwork. Meeting after meeting. Client after client. Homework assignment after homework assignment. Thank you for your patience, Lord. Someday I hope I can just trust and not question every. little. thing.
Despite the odds, the men listened to Jesus’ words. They were blessed because of it. Not only were the given a net’s worth, they received a surplus of fish. They gained all they didn’t get from the night before and then some… two boats full. If the disciples hadn’t listened, if they has decided to disbelieve and avoid the possible disappointment and humiliation of another empty net, they would not have this overflowing bounty. Instead of seeing with their eyes, they viewed the situation with their hearts, acting upon Jesus’ words. They choose to trust Jesus wouldn’t mislead them. How many times do we allow our earthly minds to talk us out of believing and trusting, instead of being led by our faith in Jesus? We allow our human thoughts to flood over the possibility of a miraculous experience in our lives. I know I let my days overwhelm me, and I get caught up in the “this again?” triviality. These trivialities are the small inching toward growth in grace. When I don’t trust God working in the now, I miss out on the beauty and refreshment of anticipation of what he is doing in my life. I forget that every again is another step of obedience, another opportunity to lower my net down once more for Jesus. Let’s trust, again, and not let our heads take over what our our hearts sense God leading us to do to go deeper. Who knows when that next time we will be the recipients of his unimaginable blessings?