Bless the Lord

One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the word of God. He noticed two empty boats at the water’s edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon, its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there.

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.”

“Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.     Luke 5:1-7 (NLT)

Peter must have been bone-tired that morning. They had been out since dusk the night before trying to make a living and provide for their families. I imagine someone was catching fish that night, but it wasn’t them! Discouragement. Jesus came along and taught Peter about starting over. Giving it a try…one more time. Peter forgot the lesson, too. In Luke 22, Peter is following Jesus, at a distance, into the courtyard outside the High Priest’s home. He forgets all that he has seen over the past three years and, instead, sees only fear and what his eyes can tell him. He proves Jesus right in His prophecy that Peter will deny Him, not just once, but three times. Peter weeps in shame, grief, and despair.

Jesus does not leave Peter in that deep pit. John 21 show how Jesus brought Peter and the other disciples full circle, back to the fishing boat, reminding them where they started and the truth about how far they had come. Jesus shows them a new depth of His love by reminding them of who He is. He is God. He is not dead. He will always be with them.

I would have loved to have been a gull flying overhead and watching Peter’s face as he had that moment of déjà vu. I think that when he felt the pull of all those fish on the net Peter had a flash of knowledge that God had just re-created a miracle. He had done it again! This time the lesson stuck with Peter and he went out and shared that knowledge again, and again, and again!

There are times that I feel too “worn out”, too “weak” to stay the path I have been given. The causes for my fatigue is usually from taking the weight of burdens that are not mine to carry and/or not spending time with Jesus, refreshing in His Spirit. Jesus has always been. He is Creator. He knows my weakness. He wants to recall to me all those times He taught me. Many of them were like sitting on a mountainside or breaking bread together. And then there were times He saved me in storms or came to me in the darkest part of life, walking towards me with His arms open wide to carry me toward the dawn of a new beginning.

Many people keep a journal for this very reason: to remember God’s promises and all that He has already done. Jesus said that we overcome by the very words of our testimonies (Revelation 12).

Let us take some time today to be quiet and listen to Jesus. Let us hear His words of Life. Let us look around us and see God! Whether it is in rain or the beauty of snow, or sunshine and a blue sky, let us take the time we need to be filled with all that is God. And may all that is in me, bless His Holy Name.

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