name='verify-v1'/> Big God - little d: June 2009

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Deep Water

"'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.'" --Luke 5:4-5

Just like the disciples in Luke 5:1-11, Jesus often asks us to go deeper after we have already put in a full day's efforts. He waits until we've exhausted our own plans, using our own methods, and then invites us to expend even more of ourselves...only His way.

His way.
The way of deep water requires us to suspend our own ideas of what does and doesn't make sense; of what works and doesn't work. He asks us to trust Him, to obey Him, to follow Him even as our brain tells us it is wasted energy, time, effort and hope.

The blessing.
Sometimes, our deep water obedience produces visible, supernatural results. For the disciples, it meant nets, tearing from the weight of the fish, in numbers so huge they almost sunk two boats (v. 6-7). It is hard to ignore Jesus when He moves in such a powerful way!

The awakening.
It is impossible to be in Jesus' presence, surrounded by the supernatural results of a miracle, without also coming face-to-face with our own sinfulness. Deep water moments render us vulnerable. Our eyes and our hearts are open to the purity of God and to the depravity of our own souls. We are shaken to our very core.

The choice.
Deep water encounters change the balance of our lives and require us to make a choice.

Do we focus on the fish and try to recreate the blessing for the sake of the experience?
Or, like Peter, James, and John, do we leave it all behind and follow the Blesser?

I want to follow Jesus into deep water...
but truthfully, I liked the old deep water where he first invited me to cast my nets. This new deep water is unfamiliar. My nets aren't coming back full. Most days, they appear to be empty.

I want to follow Jesus as he heads off down the sandy shore...
but I have been stumbling over my own feet as I have glanced back, longingly, at the blessings I left behind.

So what do I do? Stay with the fish or follow the Master?

I need You. Every time I think this grieving process is coming to completion, You show me where I am still struggling. Forgive me for my wobbly faith. Thank You for helping me through this and for renewing my hope in the future. I long for the days when the nets are, once again, overflowing with Your bounty. Until then, Lord, teach me how to be content with an empty net and You at my side. In Jesus' name, Amen.