When Jesus had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”
“Master,” Simon replied, “we have worked hard all night without catching anything. But because You say so, I will let down the nets.”
When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to tear. So they signaled to 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.
Have you ever felt exasperated because your work didn’t yield the profit you imagined? Perhaps you are like the fishermen-later turned disciples of Jesus who spent the night fishing but not catching anything. Perhaps you’re weary, desperate to resign from your job, grieving, or wallowing in depression. One thing is for sure: You need Jesus to enter your situation so that your circumstances can change.
What I love about Jesus is that He sees where we are. He knows the circumstances surrounding our every decision. He knows the amount of work we’ve placed in a project, vision, ministry, or business opportunity. He knows when we feel we’ve lost or failed.
If we look closely at Jesus’ encounter with His disciples, we find that He instructs them to do something: “Put out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” I’m sure that the disciples must have done everything in their power to catch fish the whole night: net on the left side, net on the right side, net on the north side; net on the south side; travel to deep water, go to shallow water; bait here, bait there. But what changed suddenly for them was that Jesus had given them the instruction and they obeyed.
Sometimes, we are at a standstill because Jesus is about to give us a new instruction. This may mean doing something totally new or doing something we’ve done before–something which baffles the common sense of doing now. But just like the example with the disciples— when Jesus gets involved, His instructions for us can be baffling, YET THEY WORK!
Let’s pause a moment and do a mental jump to the very ancient time of Noah and the famous ark. I’m sure the instruction of God to Noah to build the ark was a gargantuan bafflement for the man who had never seen or felt rain. Yet the instruction had been given by the Creator of the world and Noah obeyed; his obedience resulting in the saving of his life, his family’s lives, and the animals that would propagate the earth.
When God is involved in our lives, we can expect Him to baffle us. However, His instructions can make the difference between movement and standstill; profit and loss; restoration and brokenness; peace and fear. We may not understand why He tells us to do things, but when we obey, we can expect our situation to change.
Now, if we think we’ve done His instructions and nothing seems to change, then what is the best thing to do? We simply wait on Him in an attitude of gratitude and expectancy. Wisdom and time are in His hands. We commit our way to the Lord and simply trust Him to act. We can take to heart Psalm 37:5, which says, “ Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.” While we wait, let’s keep our ears peeled further for our LORD’s instructions.
Janina Marie Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of One Voice Magazine, a teacher of world literature, and a student of the Bible. She enjoys reflecting on life’s curve balls and plateaus. She resides in the Philippines, the country known for people who smile a lot.