Up for the Challenge?
by Andy Cokayne 16 February 2022
There is nothing more frustrating than working hard and find that at the end of the day you have achieved absolutely nothing. Whether it is preparing an area of your lawn that is bare, sowing seeds, watering the area carefully regularly, only to find weeks later it looks no different, or fixing a shelf to the wall, looking back with pride at your handiwork, putting the articles on that it was designed for, only to find when you turn round that the whole thing has collapsed at your feet.
So my thoughts go out to Peter when he says to Jesus " Master we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything." Here at the shore of Lake Gennesaret (Lake Galilee), Jesus struggles to find space to preach and teach, and so he asks to borrow Peter's boat. Peter happily complies, having caught nothing overnight, and yet still having to wash and mend his nets. He appears happy that someone is going to make good use of his boat. After Jesus finishes his teaching session, He hands the boat back to Peter, and suggests to him that, in the middle of the day, he casts his nets into the deep water. Peter, the experienced fisherman, after making known his frustration, accepts the advice of a carpenter on how to fish, and reluctantly complies. "Master we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so I will let down the nets." (Luke 5v5) Then a miracle happens, when they start to haul in their nets, there are so many fish that their nets start to break, and they call their partners for help.
In order for Peter to receive the catch, Jesus challenges him "Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch." In order for Peter to witness the miracle of the amazing catch, he has to do two things.
Firstly Peter has to listen to Jesus advice. Sometimes we are so keen for the challenge that we don't listen fully to the advice. We rush ahead with our own ideas, rather than wait on our heavenly Father, for what He has to say. Part of the challenge is often to wait, and listen!
Secondly Peter is told to "Put out into Deep Water." Deep water is not normally my thing. I admit that sometimes I find myself in deep water, but that is another matter altogether. Here Peter is told to push out into deep water. Sometimes we too are told by our heavenly Father, to push out into Deep Water, to consciously go beyond where we would normally feel comfortable. To go beyond our comfort zone. That is a challenge for any of us. We may feel that we are going out on a limb, we are on our own. Yet we quickly find that he is already their waiting for us.
Are we up for the challenge? Prepared to listen, and follow His guidance taking us beyond our normal comfort zone, and into our Deep Water? Whatever that may be!
Hymn - I, the Lord of sea and sky
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Heavenly Father, as the father of the sick boy said to Jesus "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" (Mark 9v24), so increase our faith in you, that you will enable us to be up the challenge of serving you.
In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.