Have you ever worked hard at something? Really hard? Like staying up all night hard? Like every weekend for months hard? Like swimming against the current hard? Like ultra marathon hard? Like drowning in a sea, struggling to breathe, hard?
And instead of the result you thought would pay off. Instead of the victory. Instead of the healing. Instead of the restored relationship. Instead of a beautiful baby in your arms, you got nowhere. Na dah. Zilch. Nothing.
It happens. More often than we’d like.
It happened to a guy named Peter. Peter was a fisherman by trade and worked hard at his job. Sometimes he worked all night catching fish and all morning mending nets.
One such day, Peter sat on the shore of the Sea of Galilee mending nets because he had been fishing on the lake all night. Doubly exhausting and disappointing he’d caught nothing and broken his nets in the process.
Jesus happened on the scene and chose Peter’s neck of the woods to preach a few sermons to a growing crowd. The multitude was so large and pressing that Jesus asked Peter if He might be able to preach from his boat. Peter agreed so Jesus got in the boat and taught the people.
When Jesus finished speaking He said, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.” (Luke 5:4)
Peter smiled the kind of smile you give to someone when you can’t get the wifi to work and they say something like, “Have you tried turning it off and on?”
Because Peter felt it. He was frustrated. He’d worked hard and done everything you can imagine to do. He had turned it off and on, unplugged it from the wall and plugged it back in, pressed every button, held down buttons in all kinds of combinations, yelled at the router, thrown the router against the wall, waited on hold just to talk to someone in India who had no idea what to do…
He’d been nice. Real nice. He’d baked cakes and given gifts. He’d expressed genuine compliments and interest. And the co-worker still hated him.
We’ve read books. Been to counselling. Committed to communicating without yelling. Yet our marriage is still broken.
I could go on but hopefully you get the picture – you see the mirror in Peter’s pain and your own.
Peter let Jesus know just how he felt:
“Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing.”
But then he said something interesting:
“But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” (Luke 5:5)
Sometimes giving up makes sense. Peter fished all night. If the fish weren’t there at night, they certainly wouldn’t be during the day.
Sometimes giving up might be the logical thing to do. I receive emails from a guy who in the last year has written two emails to his list of aspiring authors and writers telling them if they aren’t making money out of their craft it is time to give up and move on because they don’t have what it takes. (I know, why am I on his email list? Don’t worry, I’ve changed that.)
Reason says count your losses and move on. Friends say, he’s no good for you, there are more fish in the sea. Your doctor says live with the illness. Your accountant says file for bankruptcy.
Jesus says launch into the deep just one more time.
Am I advocating reckless actions? No. But if Jesus says to give it another try, give it another try. If Jesus says your marriage isn’t over, it isn’t over. If Jesus says your house will sell, it will sell. If Jesus says to persevere, persevere.
Because if Jesus gives the word, not only will you catch fish, but He will exceed your expectations. Peter caught more fish than his boat could handle (Luke 5:6). All because he heard and obeyed Jesus’ voice.
I don’t know your story, but God does. And I believe He has used me to tell you, “I know you’ve worked hard and given it everything. Trust Me. Launch into the deep. Don’t feel overwhelmed. You aren’t out of your depth. Get ready for a miracle.”
Listen to Jesus. Go deeper, just one more time.
If this resonates with you I’d love to pray and believe with you as you step out in faith one more time. Leave a comment or reply to the email. God bless.