Saturday, March 23, 2013

It's safer in the deep end

"You are better off in the deep water with Jesus than in the shallow water alone." -Priscilla Shirer

An ancient Galilee boat. I took this picture on a trip to Israel in 2010. This is a historical find. According to our guide, this boat was excavated and dated to be from the time of Jesus' ministry. The fisherman who used this boat likely knew of Jesus.
This morning, I listened to a segment of a message Priscilla gave to a group of women recently. In it, she focused on Luke 5 - a passage that focuses on our friend Simon Peter, and his frustration with an empty fishing net. He and his fellow fisherman had worked all night with nothing to show for it.

"He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets”  (v. 3-5).

Isn't that just like us? When Jesus steps into our situation and gives us a chance to exercise our faith, do you ever catch yourself thinking, "Well, if You had been around, Lord, You would know I've already tried that"? As if He wasn't there with us through it all. Maybe the answer to our prayers isn't some outrageous new thing. Maybe it's something we've considered before (and even tried on our own), but now it will be done in light of faith in God to handle it and not in ourselves.

"When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him" (v. 6-11).

He was patient with Peter, and in the presence of His glory, Peter recognized his doubt.

As Pricilla said, wouldn't we rather be in the deep end with Jesus than in the shallow water without? I would rather face impossible situations with the One who makes the impossible possible than live an "easy" life solving all of my problems on my own.

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