Simon said in reply, 'Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command, I will lower the nets.'
When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing.
Jesus said to Simon, 'Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men."
- Luke 5:4-6, 10
I know I have talked about this reading before in 'expecting more' from God. My women's group and I recently talked about this passage as many of us have indeed experienced God generously giving us abundant blessings of late.
But I know I've also talked about that guy the devil who likes to keep us from believing that this abundance could be true or lasting.
I just wanted to quickly reflect on this Gospel as I believe it was a little gift to me today. When I start to fear or believe that the abundant blessings in my life are too good to be true, Peter's confidence in saying: "Okay, we've tried it, but we're going to do it again at your word" inspires and challenges me.
Also, Jesus' constant reassurance of 'Be Not Afraid'....we have nothing to fear!
And- not surprisingly- makes me think of a current pop song:
Not Afraid- Eminem
I'm not afraid, to take a stand
Everybody, come take my hand
We'll walk this road together through the storm
Whatever weather- cold or warm
Just lettin' you know that you're not alone
Holla if you feel like you've been down the same road
Holla! I'm hollerin'! (Also, how many times have I wished that Christ's words literally meant I'd be a fisher of men? TMI? Just sayin')
We've all 'been down the same roads' in our own lives over and over again. Sometimes, this can cause us to fear simply because we wonder if we are 'lowering the nets' right. (Another song comes to mind: "Why Georgia" by John Mayer. 'Am I living it right?' Right? ;)
Peter's question makes total sense to me. His trust in Jesus, however, goes against logic and requires great faith. Jesus assures us to not be afraid in lowering the nets...and also not to be afraid of the abundance He can provide!
So, though I waver, I am not afraid. I am challenged to keep casting out into the deep, even if the abundance doesn't seem real or possible.
"for nothing will be impossible for God"- Luke 1:37
The angel Gabriel says this to Mary right after she questions the call she has been given, but accepts with her yes. Zechariah- her cousin Elizabeth's husband- also questions the gift he has been given of a son, but does not immediately believe with great faith. In both scenarios, the angel tells them to "not be afraid".
We can accept our call like Mary and Peter- with great faith, or like Zechariah (who is silenced until the birth of his son!) I don't know about you...but imma try to be like Mary, and take a cue from Peter and Marshall Mathers (aka Eminem) on at least this one.
So I'm encouraged to cast out my net again and again today, and to expect the most from God. I'd like to believe the nets will burst- so why not believe with great faith and not fear?