“Jesus said to them: Do not be afraid; from now on, you will be catching men.”
Monday, I woke up with a severe sinus infection. Of course, my first thought was COVID just caught me. However, the test proved it wasn’t COVID. Thank goodness! As I return to good health, this reflection may be short. But who knows?
Family, work, and communal stressors were plentiful last week. I am thankful I could breeze through the many issues without losing my cool. I came remarkably close, though. And although I didn’t lash out, I know the many instances took a toll on my mind and body. I am passionately interested in learning how I can prevent mental breakdowns leading to illnesses. And have begun deep research into this matter. I also know that focusing on Jesus helps me too. Yet, it becomes problematic when these issues affect people, you know, like those who don’t know Jesus.
I press on. Then, I trek into the mystery of how and what is the best way to show Him to those who don’t know Him. Do I produce bookmarks to give out as often as possible? Do I bake a cake to take to my neighbors? Do I smile at strangers more often? Or should I pray? I am sitting here occasionally, staring at my son-in-law. He and my daughter are visiting for a few days. I consider his age and how much more he’ll learn. Specifically with his first child due in five weeks. How much does he need to know? A lot, I’d say! How much more do I want to learn? A lot more, I’d say. Even when severe migraines visit, I want to read. And find myself getting frustrated that I only have so many hours in the day to do so.
God, our creator, understands frustration as He churns out each day. He knows the toll we carry daily and even takes some for us. He knows I want eagerly to spend my most genius on the least of life’s responsibilities. God sees this in my heart! And He enters in, with the grace of those responsibilities and the sweet advising on the importance of them.
Nevertheless, I move through each foray at the speed of a gazelle. And equally with the slowness of a turtle. As I move forward, it’s all good, since either way, the draught of fish comes.
Not specifically stated in the Bible, I’d say that Simon Peter must have been discouraged after fishing all night without any reward for his efforts. This discouragement seems to have been echoed in his response to Jesus when He instructed Peter to “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” (Luke 5 v. 4). Simon’s response, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word, I will let down the nets.” (Luke 5 v. 5).
And Simon did just that. What followed was a magnificent surprise that the nets were so full they were breaking (Luke 5 v.6).
The fishing skills of Simon Peter were already in him. After all, he fished all night with no success. Jesus’ request offered Peter a catch distributed only by obedience. Jesus instructed Peter on what to do, and Peter followed suit. This beautiful depiction also showed Jesus to be Lord of the seas, just as He is the Lord of my speed and occasional slowness. I’m in awe of how He guides my slowness today.
God’s results are staggering even when less effort is employed. His mighty miracles shown through His Son are often miracles of mercy. Like the fish were placed in Peter’s net, Jesus intended to net Peter too. He did this by showing what to expect from His ministry. What to expect from Jesus was offered powerfully, that Peter, Andrew, James, and John left everything behind to be by His side at the beginning of His ministry.
Jesus meets my every need. And I remember this as I continue to explore the thought that I must always rest in the bond of discipleship. Even when stressors come, I must be in service to Him and Him alone. Even when I want to squeeze the life out of those annoying grasshoppers squeezing the life out of some of my plants, I then remember Jesus is in control. When the more excellent weather sets in just around the corner, these grasshoppers won’t bother me. And for now, God’s beauty still blooms.
Right now, the sun continues its journey of daily rest. Authentic shadows of trees and plants show in the east of my garden. A monarch butterfly caresses one zinnia, and the squirrels follow their daily trails upon the fence. Tomorrow it all happens again. As I take a deep breath while my nose still burns, in God’s will, I get to experience every bit all over again.
We grow together, inside, and out!
All Bible verses are from the English Standard Version (ESV). Crossway Publishers