Friday, August 10, 2012

Putting Out Into the Deep

     We used to enjoy going fishing in Canada in the earlier days of our marriage when we still lived in Ohio.  My father-in-law went to a fishing camp in Ontario just about every summer and we would often go and join him up there in the beautiful woods.
Family trip to Canada one year
     One of his favorite lakes to fish was called Elephant Lake.  We would drive about 45 minutes to an hour on a log road (dirt, gravel and lots of bumps) in order to reach the area near the lake where we could use a boat.  Then, we had to walk down a winding and sometimes slippery path through the woods to a dock area.
     This lake was so long that it took a good deal of time to go to the various fishing spots that he enjoyed.  Of course, there were no cabins, people or landmarks clearly visible so you had to be certain to look carefully in order to find your way back.  My father-in-law learned every inch of that lake and could easily navigate it.
     When we went fishing with my husband's family, we also had to learn that it would be an all day affair.  If it rained, we took rain gear.  If it was cold, we brought extra clothes to wear on the boat.  In short, we were there for the day.  However, the day was extra long for everyone if the fish were not biting.  On more than one occasion, we would return with very little and this was always frustrating.
     The Apostle Peter had much the same type of experience, and he was an expert fisherman.  He had spent an entire night in a boat when the Lord came up and climbed in the boat with him.  Look at Luke 5:4:  "Jesus said to Simon, 'Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.'"
     Now I am certain that Peter was just thrilled with that suggestion after spending a long hard night with no results.  He was tired and most likely frustrated.  Why was Jesus  asking him to put out into the deep again?  As yet, Peter didn't have a deep relationship with the Lord that was to come.
     Nevertheless, Peter obeyed and did as the Lord had requested, and in verse 6 of this chapter, it becomes clear that they caught so many fish that their nets began to break.  In surprise at this miracle, he fell at the feet of Jesus.  God had done what he could not accomplish all night long.
     There are so many times when we have given something our very best effort whether at work, at home or even at church.  We may have labored for hours on a project to have it come to no use.  When I consider Peter in this passage, I can fully identify with him.
     Yet, the Lord often bids us to "put out into deep water".  He doesn't expect us to do this on our own strength but on His.  He knows that we are tired and weary but He calls us to walk in faith in His power.
     Naturally, all of us wish the path ahead was clear as a bell, and we could know exactly what is going to happen next.  Reality is that we do not have this foreknowledge, but we know the One who does.  This is when we must launch into the deep if we really want to see miracles.  Stepping out in faith and trusting in Jesus will bring in the harvest that we long for.
     If you are tired and weary, trust Jesus with the empty nets in your life.  He will provide you with all that you need to accomplish His purpose.  Selah!

Please feel free to leave your thoughts, insights and comments here.  I welcome them and the encouragement they bring.


Christina said...

Love this Barbara. All I can say is "Amen" and thank you for this refreshment to "tiered and weary" souls.

Barbara Thayer said...

You are welcome my dear friend! We all get empty net syndrome from time to time and need some refreshment. The answer is only found in the Lord! Peter discovered that~! May you be blessed today and throughout the weekend!!!!

Anonymous said...

What an encouragement this is Barbara. It's easy to get discouraged, even as older believers, when we don't see fruit for our labors like we had hoped.

Thank you for this beautiful reminder that God is the one who fills our net.
Blessings sister!

Barbara Thayer said...

Thank you for stopping by dear Diane. You are a blessing in my life. It is wonderful to have such a network of Christian sisters on the internet that can share with each other. This helps us to keep on fishing even when our nets seem empty. Blessings to you always!