This has recently been blowing my mind, so just think about this for a minute. Think back to this time last year. Just barely past July 4th, 2017. I don’t know about you, but my life has drastically changed in those 365 days. SO many changes have taken place, so many new adventures, new relationships, and so many ends to chapters of my life. It has been one CRAZY year!
On Wednesday night, my family was watching fireworks outside of our home and I realized that exactly a year ago I was watching fireworks in Compton, Los Angeles while on a mission trip. Life sometimes boggles my mind, anybody else?!
Honestly, the only thing in my life that has remained fully and completely constant in my life, has been God’s hand. I know that sounds very cliche and blogger like, but really it’s true. We have moved so much over the course of my life, friendships have changed, family dynamics have changed, and I myself have changed so much. Really, God’s presence is 100% the only thing that has stayed the same.
For the month of July, I’ll be reading through Luke (a great place to study the story of Christ btw). I am only 5 chapters in so far but wanted to share some of what I’ve gotten out of Luke already. Mainly chapter 5 so if you have some time, locate your Bible and flip to Luke 5.
I am sure that many of us have heard this story about the men on the fishing boat. To briefly recap, Simon and a group of other fishermen had not had the best day on the water. They had been out for hours and hadn’t caught anything yet. Jesus calls to them and says, “Put out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon replies, “master, we have worked hard all night long and caught nothing. But if you say so, I’ll let down the nets.”
Normally, I would just keep reading this familiar story because I know how it ends and I’m pretty sure I have colored hundreds of coloring pages in Sunday school about this exact scene. But as I was reading this, something new hit me.
At first, when Simon was responding to Jesus, I thought he was almost “talking back” to Jesus. He was saying, “Hi Jesus, I do this all the time and today is just not a good day. The fish are not biting and moving into deeper water will not change that, believe me, I know what I am doing.” Which, in all honesty, is totally something I could find myself saying to God. While Simon does start off by saying, “master, we have worked hard all night long and caught nothing…” the second part of his response is the really important part,”But if you say so, I’ll let down the nets.”
Simon is basically saying, “Even though I don’t see why this would help at all, if you say so, I will do it.” I don’t know for sure because I was not present when this all thing went down, but I think that, even though Simon didn’t think it would make a difference, he was still very respectful in his obedience. It wasn’t like a, “okay Jesus I’ll go deeper and prove to you that there are no fish.” I think it was more of a, “well it can’t do me any more harm to do what Jesus is telling me to do.”
As always, Jesus was correct, the fishermen found an abundance of fish and could not believe what just happened. These few verses are so encouraging to me because I am in a place currently where I don’t fully understand what God is doing in my life. Some aspects of my life seem to be having the very worst timing possible. In addition to some timing issues, I also find myself asking God a lot of “why” questions. “Why did I have to leave?” “Why couldn’t this have happened earlier?” “Why do I have to miss out on that.” You get the point.
To read this, to see the trust that Simon executed and to see how even if he didn’t understand or agree with what Jesus was telling him, Simon still obeyed the Lord and was rewarded because of it. That is what I need to be doing now. Even though I don’t understand and sometimes might not agree with what is happening, I will still obey and praise the Lord.
I don’t know if any of you can relate to the feelings of confusion or misunderstanding that I have been feeling. But something about this well known Bible story has just resonated with me. Because, like I said before, nothing in my life has ever been more constant than God’s presence. I know that His timing and plan is fully and completely perfect, so even though I may wrestle with Him about it, I will never stop trusting Him.
XOXO, The Christian Prepster