What's Your Fish?
So there's Peter, tired and smelly after spending all night trying to catch fish. He's a pro at this fisherman thing so he knows what's up here. The fish aren't biting (or whatever you call it when they are supposed to jump in the net). Then, Jesus shows up, does a little teaching to the crowd, and says something oh so simple to our man, Peter...
"...Go where it is deeper and let your net down to catch some fish."
Now, Peter is one of my favorites when it comes to epic Bible people. He is a favorite because I get him. I GET HIM. He looks at Jesus with the whole 'raised eyebrow you are crazy' look and says, "Master, we've been trying all night and I'm telling you, the fish aren't biting...but if you really want me to, then fine, I'll do it." I think I've quite possibly said something similar or exactly like that to Jesus, raised eyebrow not withheld. Jesus must have chuckled at this hot headed, stubborn man whom he had such grand plans for...
I'm so glad to know Jesus can use stubborn hot heads! :-D
Here's what I love about the specific direction Jesus gives to "go where it is deeper." Faith is a going deeper thing. Every single big thing Jesus has planned for you and me happens where the water is deep, where we are not able to do it alone. Every. Single. Thing. This could be cause to hyperventilate if you are afraid of water... :-o
or you could be like Peter and rolls your eyes as you row out into the deep because the man in the boat with you sounds a tad crazy...
The point here is not how Peter initially responds to Jesus, but that He does what Jesus asks. Now, this is what gets my blood really pumping because this is the grace of Jesus at it's finest...
Jesus doesn't disqualify Peter because he is initially doubtful. He doesn't say, "Never mind," when Peter responds with what must be a teeny bit of sarcasm. Peter obeys, despite his doubt, and rows out into the deeper waters, and casts that net of his.
and his reward is a couple BOATLOADS of fish!
The grace we see here is that we don't have to wait until we've become these spiritual giants before we row out into the deep and cast those nets. That's religion lying to us, telling us we need to get it all together before Jesus will consider doing these things for us. Grace tells us to plunge in, that we will be strengthened in our weakness, that we won't be alone, ever. Grace whispers those EXACT words to each of us...
"Go where it's deep, and let down your net to catch some fish."
The question is simple: what is your fish? What fish is it that you need to row out and catch? We all have something, that one something that we cannot do on our own...that one something that requires us to throw out our net and rely completely on the power of Jesus to do the impossible.
For me, that fish is this book I've written, and this dream I have of a safe house for girls rescued from trafficking...or two or three houses...and maybe a ranch. These dreams are big, Jesus sized dreams that I cannot make happen on my own. I just can't. I've rowed out into deep waters now, and if Jesus doesn't come through, I'll sink.
The thing is, I know He will come through...and I think that Peter, despite his hot headed stubbornness, knew the same thing. Deep inside of him was this little seed of faith, and that is exactly what Jesus tapped into, to mold him into the voice for the first generation of the Church.
Maybe you are terrified of deep waters. You can't even comprehend casting your net because you can't comprehend rowing that far from shore. Oh, friend. Jesus is so great and mighty. He is a warrior, and you know what else? He can swim! He will not let you sink out there in those deep waters. Do it afraid and He will fill you with courage.
If you are like me, and you tend to be on the side of our good friend Peter, doubting and raising eyebrows and thinking, "this man is crazy" then I say, to you and me...do it anyway. Row yourself out there into the deep, at the risk of looking ridiculous, and cast that net. Jesus never leaves us looking ridiculous. Never.
Jesus is ready to fill our nets. In fact, I think the Church is stirring, waking up and remembering that Jesus is big and mighty and He does the impossible. What if this lost, dying world were to see the Church rowed out into deep, deep water, filling nets with so many fish that we need more boats. It's happened before, and it's going to happen again.
Let's lean in and respond to Jesus whispering those exact same words to our hearts...
"Go where it's deeper, and let down your net to catch some fish."