How do you respond when someone comes to you and says “I have a better way for you to (fill in the blank)?” Do you get defensive and think to yourself “Who made you the expert?” or do you take their advice as helpful? Sadly there are a lot of armchair quarterbacks out there who always seem to know the best way to do just about everything. But there are also times when the person is genuine in their desire to help us become more effective and efficient. It is true as the old saying goes, that sometimes there is more than one way to skin a cat.
Today we want to share a story from the Bible in which experienced fishermen were instructed on a better way to try catching fish, and without giving away the story, let’s just say they truly hauled in the motherload of fish. (Did you know that the metaphor “motherload’ comes from the phrase mother lode, which is the principal vein where gold and silver are mined?)
The story goes like this – It is morning and the fishermen had been out all night fishing. They had been throwing in their nets, pulling them back in, and coming up empty every time. The men were exhausted from having worked all night. They are standing on the shore, their necks are aching, their back is hurting, and they are washing their nets out. Most likely they were not only tired but also frustrated, maybe even to the point of wanting to throw gas on the boats and nets, and ready to find easier work flipping burgers at the local fast food restaurant. So let’s pick up the story as found in Luke 5:1-7. Click here to read the passage.
The best time for fishing is at night. The fishermen had just spent a long and fruitless night on the lake and along comes this itinerant carpenter who says try again, in the daylight. Can you just imagine Simon Peter saying – Now, dude, if we did not catch anything at night why would we catch anything now. It won’t work, but if it will make you happy (emphasis on sarcasm), we’ll do it anyway. Does any of this resonate with you? Has someone ever given you instructions on how to do something a better way and you took it as some personal attack on your abilities? Or better yet, has Jesus ever whispered in your ear and you thought to yourself, “Are you kidding me?”
Instead of Simon Peter getting mad at Jesus or being offended by His advice, he responded in obedience. The nugget we hope that you take away today is this… Simon answered, “Master, we’ve work all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say, I will let down the nets.” Even when it does not make sense, and being fully obedient to Jesus does not always make sense to our limited understanding, we need to trust Jesus and simply say, “because you say so, I will.” So, whatever it is that Jesus is calling you to do, to borrow from Nike, “Just Do It!”
New Bern, North Carolina