Sometimes in life, things just don’t work out the way that we’ve hoped and prayed for. No matter how much we labor or how much we try, we do not always yield the results that we need to keep our heads above water. In times like these we find ourselves so discouraged that we want to give up on whatever it is that we are trying to do and walk away. But giving up is never the answer. In giving up, we only relieve ourselves of the pain and embarrassment of continual failure. But it never brings us any closer to our original goal.
Giving up certainly didn’t bring Peter, James and John any closer to their goal of catching fish. Yet after an unsuccessful night of fishing, that is what they found themselves doing. They pulled their boat out of the water, started to clean their nets and prepared to go home feeling defeated.
Before they could get away, Jesus caught up with them and asked them to get back into the boat and pull away from the land so that he could teach the crowds that were following him from the boat. I can imagine that getting back out on the waters was the furthest thing from the minds of these fishermen. They were tired, probably hungry, and most assuredly discouraged because they worked so hard to yield nothing. But for some reason, and the text does not say why, these fishermen decide to oblige Jesus and they get back into the boat.
After teaching the crowds, Jesus turns to Peter, James and John. “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch (Luke 5.4).” Now, I imagine that these fishermen, soon to be disciples, thought that getting back into the boat was weird enough. But putting down their net, after having done so all night was weirder and stranger still. Even so, Peter responds and tells Jesus that even though they had tried this already, that they were willing to risk their self-esteem, their pride, and perhaps even their reputation and go fishing again. The result? The fishermen brought in so many fish that they couldn’t contain them all. Their nets even started to break!
You may find yourself feeling just like the disciples did. You have worked and toiled all night, and have very little to show for it. Maybe you have been praying for the same family member to come to know the Lord for years. Maybe you have been praying for a loved ones healing, a miracle in your finances, or even a relationship to be restored for some time now. But you are getting nowhere fast and are ready to walk away.
But don’t give up! Get back in the boat instead! Keep praying. Keep circling. Keep believing and trusting God, not your circumstances or what you can see what your eyes because a break through is coming! Souls will be saved. Marriages will be restored. Children will come back home. Relationships will be healed. But only if you get back in the boat, let down your net, and expect a miracle.