And it came to pass, that as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,
And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fisherman were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.
And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.
Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.
And when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.
And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.
When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:
And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.
And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.
Luke 5 1-11
As much as I like science, it's the statistics behind the science that really call to me. The realist in me wants to know her odds, and the faith in me wants to know the odds that her God is going to overcome. I wrestle between the two---my odds and my faith. We all do. Needless to say, when I heard these verses of scripture, I sat up and took notice. Actually, my eyes took notice. They filled with tears. The odds said there would be no fish in that net. Faith said listen to the Rabbi. Everyday, just as Simon Peter did, we choose between our odds and our faith--the concrete, what we can see and touch, and the unseen, the Father's promises and precepts.
What happens when we choose to let down our nets, even in the face of disappointment? The disciples had clearly been disappointed. What happens when we resolve, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to follow Him when it doesn't make sense, when it hurts, when the most we can muster is a "Help me, Father", when we can't see through our anger or our tears, when our home is silent, when our future is shattered, when there are no pieces to pick up because the pieces are simply gone. So... what happens?
Casting our nets after disappointment means we do what is counter-intuitive to our logic. Simon made this point to Christ. "We've worked all night and caught nothing." Peter had the feeling he was wasting his time, but he had enough faith to obey--despite his doubts. Notice there is no sentence of rebuke from Christ written between Simon Peter's statement of the obvious and his obedience to Christ. Faith, which translates into obedience, doesn't have to come without fear or hurt or questions. It means faith should follow even in the presence of all these emotions. Through tears, confusion, and disappointment, we cast our nets.
We Get a Glimpse of the Savior
We would be remise if we mistook the fish as the blessing. Read the last line of the passage. They left the fish! They forsook everything. The fish were nothing to Peter, James, and John. This scripture is not about Jesus giving a group of fisherman a bunch of fish. It's about the Giver of the fish. The miracle caused these boys to get a glimpse of the Savior. They recognized His sovereignty over all of creation. They knew they had come in contact with the real deal, the Messiah.
This recognition started to change the fishermen from the inside out. Peter fell at Jesus' feet and confessed his tenacity for being a sinner. He realized who he was in relationship to the Messiah. Jesus was God and worthy of Simon's everything. It was the day Simon Peter surrendered his life to Christ. He would never be the same.
Obedience in the face of disappointment--complete disaster, even the kind that seems unfixable--changes who we are because it changes how we see the Father. Our minds can not get an understanding of our Father if we sit with clinched fists and fear in our hearts, refusing to listen to His call. It is impossible for the Savior to transform our hearts when we choose self-preservation over the One who wants to transform our inward parts.
When we answer, "Yes." and walk in the paths He has called us to, He starts the renovation. Everyone's call is different, but there's always a call. The answer is our choice. To say yes means, we begin to see the sovereignty of Jesus. There is nothing that is beyond His sphere of control. It changes our hearts. It makes us more like Him. Our lives are never the same.
We Get a Glimpse of Our Future
The fish represented a much larger idea. Jesus was in essence saying, "You ain't seen nothin', yet!" The fish were a picture of the men's lives that would be impacted by Peter, James, and John's obedience. They were going to turn the world upside down for Christ. They got a glimpse of their futures, and the futures were way cooler than being fishermen. Christ allowed them this insight. They clearly could have had no idea of the scope of their influence, but it was enough of a glimpse for them to be all in.
Refusing to allow disappointment to hinder our full-on surrender to Christ can do the same for us. Christ gives us a glimpse of our future. Sticking with Him means we are allowed to experience the weaving back together of our broken dreams. We start to recognize that with Christ our futures are unbreakable.We, like the Disciples, will never know nor understand the full impact we will have on future generations, but what casting our nets teaches us is that we are unstoppable, invincible. We are more that conquerors with Christ.
He is our future.
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Victoria Paxton spends her mornings teaching special education and her afternoons raising two fantastic sons. She's the wife of Mr. Paxton, and, also, the mother of a grown, full of faith daughter who is married to Victoria's favorite son-in-law, Nathan.