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.” 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. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”
The safest place for ships is in the harbor, but that’s not why ships were built. —Anonymous
What a blessing Jesus wanted to give to Peter! There are moments in life that show us that God is big, grace is real, and hope is more than a campaign slogan. This is one of those moments when God tells us to “Put out into deep water.” But most of us would prefer to stay in the shallows splashing about in the comfort of control. Like Peter most of us believe that our way of catching fish will yield the best results. But God says, “Trust me.”
In other words, he speaks into our risk-adverse imaginative gridlock and asks us to push out beyond our emotional barriers and general malaise. Sometime our learning is the very thing that keeps us from learning more. Jesus asked Peter to separate himself from the surrounding process so he could see things differently. What happened? The nets are full, the disciples are all agog, and Peter’s depression lifts like a fog. Jesus overflows our “common-sense” assumptions. Perhaps Lent is the time to examine the areas in which you’ve chosen the predictable and manageable path. Is there a general malaise in your relationship with God. If so, push out into the deep waters. Allow God to free you from your imaginative gridlock. Trust Him.
God of the deep waters, it’s difficult to venture beyond our own safe harbors. Sometimes we are scared. Other times we doubt. We prefer to stay in control. Faith seems too risky. Free us from the spiritual gridlock we experience. Teach our fearful hearts to risk for your Kingdom. Day by day help us to venture into the depths of your love that we might find your immense beauty. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
– Pastor Hartman