By Mary Garrard, Lay Leader

This winter while Charlie and I were in Florida, we had the joy of attending Curlew United Methodist Church in Palm Harbor. The congregation is very welcoming and loving. The following article, using an excerpt from Not a Fan Devotional by Kyle Idleman, appeared in their April newsletter. I thought it was definitely worth sharing.

Speaking to Simon, Jesus said, “Now go out where it is deeper and let down your nets, and you will catch many fish.” “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, we’ll try again.” (Luke 5: 4-5)

There’s no reason to think that Simon Peter’s response to Jesus was sarcastic, but you have to wonder if he was thinking, “Yeah, right. That carpenter-rabbi thinks He can tell a fisherman how to fish?” But what did he have to lose at this point? So as he squinted in the sunlight
glinting off the Sea of Galilee, he flung his soaked net overboard one more time. Simon Peter wasn’t sure where those fish had been hiding all night, but this time they swarmed into his net as soon as it hit the water. He had never has such a wasted night, and now he had never
hauled in a catch like this in broad daylight.

What Jesus suggested wasn’t difficult or complicated; it just didn’t make any sense. Practically speaking, it seemed like a waste of time. It went against Peter’s extensive experience and intuition. Jesus gave no fresh explanation. His directions weren’t innovative or creative. Yet Peter simply obeyed.

Sometimes following Jesus is simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. Humble obedience to what God has called us to do may be as simple as making a phone call, extending an invitation, or helping serve the needy. Maybe it carries a greater challenge, like extending forgiveness to someone who has hurt you or moving to a foreign mission field or trusting Him by tithing. But when God asks us to do something that seems impractical or inconvenient – maybe especially when it does – it brings abundant reward.

Notice that God will let you voice your objections. So, if that makes you feel better, He’s okay with it. Just remember that the One telling you where to fish is the One who created the fish!