Wednesday, October 7, 2015

If you say so...

I wrote this back in October 2009, and stumbled across it today. These words serve as a reminder of God's goodness, grace, and provision. He always has been faithful, and he always will be...

After an exhausting night of work, Peter had nothing to show for his efforts. All night long, he threw his nets into the ocean, each time expecting, hoping to pull up a full net of fish. Grueling efforts drained his energy and depleted his hope.

While I can’t identify with all-night fishing exertion, I absolutely understand Peter’s feelings of despair, hopelessness, and frustration.

I spent months casting my net into an ocean – hoping, praying, and begging for it to be filled – and each time the net returned empty, I grew more and more discouraged.

I wanted to give up completely and sail my ship to more fruitful waters.
Better yet, I wanted to abandon ship.
I began to feel like a failure.
I lost hope.

Yet, in the midst of my futile casting, I couldn’t ignore the unrelenting command:
“Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets.” (Luke 5:4)

Deep water is frightening – I had no idea what was lurking beneath the surface, I couldn’t see the ocean floor. The unfathomable dark waters concealed a myriad of mysteries. I had no desire to “go out where it [was] deeper,” yet I knew there was no other option.

Every instinct instructed me to flee.
No part of my rational mind concluded that entering deeper water was a good idea.

Yet, in the midst of my rationalizations, I couldn’t ignore the constant urgings:
“Wait passionately for God, don’t leave the path.” (Psalms 37:34)
“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed…wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Psalms 27:11, 13-14)

It took every fiber of my being to fight the urge to return to shore.
I was certain that casting my net one more time would continue to make me look like a fool.
All of my efforts had been in vain; not only did I have no hope for pulling up a full net, I fully expected a completely empty net – a la Bubba Gump Shrimp, pre-hurricane.

My response was much like Simon Peter’s… But God, I’ve worked so hard and haven’t caught a thing! But if you say so, I’ll try again. (Luke 5:5)

In the midst of my despair, God gave me the strength to try again.
All I had to do was believe Him, and thank God I did – I’m still pulling up full nets.

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