Deeper Water Deepens Faith

Fishing net of Peter who trusted Jesus.

Every time I read Luke 5:1-11, I see something new. Today was no different.

Our story begins with the crowd pressing in around Jesus to hear the Word of God. Jesus then sees Peter’s empty boat and climbs in, asking Peter to row Him further out away from the crowd. After working all night unsuccessfully, Peter is dirty, tired and discouraged, and probably doesn’t really know the extent of who this preacher guy is…yet the Bible says he obeys.

So, Peter now sits behind Jesus, facing the crowd, watching these people listen to a man who thinks He knows something. With the sun shining down and the boat not moving, I wonder if Peter in his weary condition nodded off or tried to listen to the sermon. And isn’t it interesting that we have no knowledge of what the sermon was about? It could have been about “pressing on”… but we do not know. Why? Because even though the circumstances at the moment were not about Peter, the focus of Jesus’ actions was.

Peter had been up for hours and used every ounce of energy, and now he just wanted to go home. But then Jesus turned to him and requested something more.

“Let’s go out to deeper water.”

I so wish I could’ve seen the look on Peter’s face or had heard his first response. Did he groan? Roll his eyes? Look at Jesus like He was crazy? Turn to his fishing partners on the shore and indicate something stupid was about to happen? The Bible simple states that Peter answered Jesus, “but because You say so, I will.”

Are you in a season of exhaustion? Are you working to accomplish but seeing no results? Are you praying and begging God for miracles you know you need but have no resources around you? Have you asked for your borders to grow, to reach others with His truth, maybe to change your season of life with a new perspective and challenge? And yet, your nets are empty…

In one moment, Peter (as the experienced fisherman) could have rowed ashore and left Jesus standing there. He could have picked up his net, walked home and regrouped for another day. He had the right, the format, and resources to do all of that. Yet he didn’t. Not today. Instead, he pushed aside all his thinking and emotions and rowed out deeper…because Jesus told him to. Something about this man Jesus was just different enough, something askew from the normal preacher, that made Peter respond.

Minutes later, the Bible says his boat was sinking, and that Peter and his friends were astounded at the catch of fish. Peter fell to his knees before Jesus, ashamed of his unbelief, yet scared of the great blessing given to him. And Jesus replied, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will fish for men.”

Peter had humanly worked for a sizeable catch, and when he allowed Jesus in…the results were beyond his imagination. He had been praying about the HOW, and then he needed guidance with the NOW.

In “The Prayer of Jabez”, I love how Chapter 4 begins with us learning that our “out of control” is really just “dependency on God” and we need to embrace it (however scary) as we continue with our prayers and His blessings. That He will give as needed, and we need to trust that He is orchestrating and aligning our futures. We are called to be “fishers of men” as well, even when we don’t think we are “fishing” effectively. I have a beautiful friend who taught me, “Do with what you have until God gives you more.”

There are 2 parts to that statement: 1- your present resources may be little or overwhelming, and 2- EXPECT more! Do not FEAR!

1 John 4:18 reminds us that “there is no fear in love.”

Continue to walk with Him, continue to ask, and continue to expect.

His timetable and His ways are perfect…because HE LOVES YOU!!

– Cyndy Gusler