I love to fish! But, the pathway of life that I’ve followed has left little time for this beloved activity. I’m not very good at “fishin’”. I blame the lack of fishing time as the reason I’m so inept at the undertaking. Recently, on a visit to Dauphin Island, my friend Wayne invited me to go fishing with him and a group of his friends. It was the last day of Red Snapper season, and I was really excited to get to go.
We went a few miles off shore and dropped our lines, but with limited success. The water was rough and choppy. I thought our fishing trip was about over when Wayne said, “I know a spot about 25 miles out. I don’t want to go in on the last day of snapper season without our limit. Roll up your lines and let’s go!” Not being accustom to fishing off shore, I was alarmed at the prospects of going so far out in rough seas. However, Wayne grew up on these waters, and I trusted him completely, so I sat back and let the sea spray and waves come on in. An hour or so later, we arrived at ‘the place’ and dropped our lines in 100 feet of water. Almost immediately the fish started hitting. We caught our limit in a short amount of time. Several of the snapper weighted close to 20 pounds, others less. We had approximately 300 pounds of fish!
On the trip back in, I thought about another fishing trip some 2,000 years ago (Luke 5: 1-7). Simon Peter and some of his friends had fished all night and caught nothing. Jesus said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish.” In the Sea of Galilee, the fish came to the shallows at night to feed; in the daytime they went down to cooler waters deep in the lake. Though Peter’s experience made him quite sure that they would catch nothing, he was willing to listen to Jesus and try. They caught so many fish that friends had to be called to help. They brought in two boatloads of fish.
How many times as His witnesses have we stayed in the shallows and caught nothing. Jesus is calling us to have faith in Him and to follow His directives. We need to trust Him and when beckoned to do so, we need “to launch out into the deep.” Our natural inclination is to stay in the shallows where it is safe. Our soul winning efforts are all too often futile because we are afraid of the deep water and fearful of failure. We need to hear again the words of Jesus in Matthew 28: 18-20: “And Jesus came and spake unto them saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”
If He asks us to launch out into deep waters like the mission field or an unseemly part of town, to go to a grumpy neighbor or a lost family member, we need to obey. Are we not called to be ‘fishers of men’? He will go with us and help us. He promised.
~ Brother Roy