Simon said in reply, ‘Master we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.’ Luke 5:5
Simon was a professional fisherman who knew his trade. For him to be so willing to do as Jesus said shows how much he had come to believe in Jesus. He could have argued and said, “No way, Lord! I know the fish aren’t biting. We’re too tired, and we’d just be wasting our time.” But he didn’t. Rather, he did as the Lord asked, and the boat nearly sank they caught so many fish!
Knowing that they hadn’t caught anything the night before helps us see how Peter humbled himself and did as the Lord asked even though it didn’t make sense to him. He trusted Jesus that much. Not only did he trust, but he respected Him and chose to honor Him by his obedience.
How often do we do what Jesus says even when it doesn’t make sense? How well do we love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us? How about forgiving 7 x 70 times? Even in the promptings we get from the Holy Spirit, how quickly do we obey? Or do we try to figure everything out so that it makes sense before we act?
One small example comes to mind. I was preparing for a retreat and the Holy Spirit suggested I ask the ladies next door if I could practice my talks on them. I was intimidated by the older woman next door, as she was old and seemed to be rather cranky. I didn’t know if she believed in God, and I couldn’t imagine speaking about the Lord in front of her. I never would have considered asking them, so this confirmed to me that it must be the Lord’s idea! I called and the caregiver said they would love to have me come over.
They both listened intently and gave me some good feedback. Later, the caregiver shared that she had drifted away from God, and my talks invited her to come back. I also pray that the talks planted some seeds in the older woman’s heart as well. I think it’s good for us to be ready to follow the Lord without always understanding his plan ahead of time. Because, if we need everything to make sense before we obey, we may miss some really “big catches.”
Janice Carleton and her husband Jim live in Portland, OR and partner with Passionist Fr. Cedric Pisegna in Fr. Cedric Ministries. She is the mother of 4 grown children and grandmother of 6. Janice also leads women’s retreats and recently published her second book: God IS with Us. Visit Janice’s website at http://www.janicecarleton.com/ or email her at [email protected].