I’ve come across some trying days the last few months. Days that I wish would never come and I know there will be trying days ahead of me. I was reading through the book of Luke the other day and read in chapter 5 the story of Jesus when he calls his first disciples.
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. Luke 5:3
So here’s Simon, who just came in after a long night of fishing that produced nothing as we will soon find out. He’s tired, he’s probably hungry and most likely discouraged. But here is Jesus and he steps into his boat.
Isn’t that like Jesus. He inserts himself right where we need him, right when we need him whether we realize it or not. I’m sure Simon was aware of who Jesus was, but wasn’t aware that he was the Messiah yet.
I’ve been aware of Jesus my whole life. There have been times when I’ve drawn close and times when I’ve distanced myself from him. But time and time again, Jesus comes and inserts himself into my life in ways that I’m unprepared for and in ways that I really don’t want to happen.
A few months ago, hours after hearing the words that I have cancer, Jesus inserted himself in a big way. He didn’t just climb into my boat, he climbed in, shoved me to the side and said “I’m in control now.”
I didn’t want this, but I had no choice….Jesus was driving 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.” Luke 5:4-5
Jesus finishes speaking and then turns to Simon, because he already knows what is troubling Simon. He knows the hardships that he has been through the night before and he knows that he’s ready to give up.
But Jesus was having none of it. Jesus knew what Simon needed to do. He needed to go out in deeper waters and put down his net.
Simon to his credit, did what Jesus asked of him, even though it didn’t make much sense.
So as I was laying in the hospital, waiting to get to my room, I was pretty mad. I didn’t want to go through this and I let God know that I was mad. I felt him speak to me in a still voice, that “This will be used for my glory.” And at that moment I felt a peace about me and as I was reading this passage from Luke, I imagine myself resigning myself to go to deeper waters and put down my 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. Luke 5:6-7
Simon, by following what Jesus had asked of him, was blessed beyond belief. Blessed beyond any logical comprehension he may have had. Jesus didn’t just bless them, he gave them an over-abundance of blessings.
Over the last couple months, God asked me to head to deeper waters and let down my nets. I’ve done my best, not always easy, but I’ve tried hard to follow and do so without question. It’s been through my writings here, through my discussions with people that I work with and meet in my day to day life. It’s even been in my own family.
But like Simon, it is through no effort of my own. I’m just letting down my nets just as Jesus instructed Simon to and he’s providing the catch, he’s providing the blessings. And I’ve stated many times, that if through my illness, through my trials even one person comes closer to God, then it was all worth it.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” Luke5:8
When Simon saw the blessings that Jesus had led them to. He fell to the feet of Jesus.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” Luke 5:10
Jesus told Simon and the others, that they would now be fishers of men. Jesus was going to use Simon and the others for his Glory and to bring more people to God.
God is using me, he has called me out to be his hands and feet. The sickness gives me a story, something I can relate to others. Something that others can look at me and see how I’m dealing with it and following Jesus.
Simon didn’t question Jesus when he said to go to deeper waters and let the nets down. I don’t intend to question it either.
I’m in the deep waters now, and the deep water can be dark and scary. But I’m here now. I’m letting down my nets and God is blessing me and others through my story.