Today’s post is written by my friend, Jeanette. I know you will love her as much as I do!
Luke 5:1-11 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God, he saw at the water’s edge two boats left there by the fishermen who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”
Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
This was one of my favorite stories when I was little! My Bible story book had a picture of the beautiful blue water and a big brown boat. Strong husky men were straining backwards trying to get that bursting net full of silvery fish into the boat. Some of the ropes in the net had already snapped, and a few lucky fish were splashing back into the water. It was a miracle, a wonderful impossible miracle, and I wished I could have followed Jesus right along with Simon!
But now I’m noticing a little sentence buried in the middle of this story. “Because you say so, I will let down the nets.” I think now that Jesus was giving Simon Peter a test. He passed that test, but I’m wondering… What if I had been Simon?
My friends and I have been out all night fishing. It is hard, hard work. We are cold from being in the water, we are weary to the bone, and we still have to wash all our nets to get them ready for tomorrow. What makes it even worse is that our work has been useless with not even one fish to take home. Then Jesus tells me to row back out into the deep water and try again. I’ve been over every inch of that deep water, many times, all night! I know there are no fish there to be caught! …What would I have said?
Simon couldn’t quietly obey without protesting just a little! It gives me hope to see that in him! “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything.” Going back out there just did not make any sense. But look what Simon said next! “But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
“Because you say so…” I don’t understand. I’m so tired. We’ve already tried this. I really don’t understand… “But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
What if Simon had decided to pass on Jesus’ offer of another fishing trip that morning? I’m sure that would have made more sense to him, and I’m positive that would have made more sense to me. But Simon obeyed. He passed the test that day, and the miracle that happened next changed his life.
Heavenly Father, there is so much I don’t understand, just like Simon Peter, and my own mind so often gets in the way. Help me to trust You and obey Your instructions even when I can’t understand.
Jeanette, you’re my kind of writer: simple, direct sentences with vivid word pictures and thoughts behind them!
I think you and I had the same Bible story picture book. =D
But you take us from the child’s simple point of view and show us the adult’s dilemma: we think we know, we think we’ve tried, we think we’ve exhausted every avenue.
Instead of just turning back from our own reasoning and trusting and obeying like the child…which always wins the prized catch.
Look forward to future insights from you.
Beautiful devotional Jeanette and very thought provoking. Just what would I do in those circumstances? Then again, what do I do now???
Thank you so much, Judi and Louise!
I love your additional thoughts, Judi! We should have collaborated 🙂
And Louise, I am asking myself the same questions… I have so much to learn.
Jeanette, this post is beautiful. Beautiful. Such a simple message, yet so profound.
Why should we obey God? Have faith in Him? Believe He will do what He says He will do?
“Because you say so, Lord.”
Thanks so much!