What was he doing here?
He was exhausted. He had toiled all night, and he had been blissfully close to being finished with cleaning his fishing net. Why he was sitting here, listening to this man talk, he wasn't quit sure.
But the sound of his voice wasn't making him sleepy, so that worked in the man's advantage.
The man had just hoped into his boat, and asked him to push out a little from the land. Push out? Alright then.
Peter had done just what he, uh, Jesus, had said.
Jesus turned to him, and Peter sat up straight. The long night was taking a toll on him, but everything Jesus was saying was...well, interesting actually. Really interesting.
"Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch."
Peter blinked once. Then twice. Maybe the lack of sleep had muddled his hearing? He waited to see if Jesus would elaborate, but all Jesus did was tilt his head toward the deep.
"Master, we toiled all night, and we caught nothing!" Peter coughed. "But at your word, I will let down the nets." What was he saying? What was wrong with him?
Peter pursed his lips together, and started rowing the boat out into the deep. Jesus smiled at him slightly. It wasn't condescending, or nervous. It was the kind of smile that pulls at someone's heart, and makes them think, "They understand me. They know me. They care for me."
"I don't understand...." The words rolled off his tongue.
"You will." Again, it wasn't mean or judging. It was knowing.
Peter laid his paddle down, slowly stood up, and carefully dropped the net into the water. He looked over his shoulder at Jesus, wanting to know what Jesus was going to say about that.
What was he doing here?
Peter's head swiveled back to the net at the sound of it scrapping against the rough wooded side. The net had started tugging, and was being yanked back and forth. Peter leaped forward, and grasped the edge of the net just before it disappeared over the side of the boat. He braced his knees against the side of the boat, and intertwined his fingers into the net. He was holding on for dear life!
He looked over his shoulder at Jesus. He was laughing and smiling, and reached over to help Peter hold onto the net. His laughter continued to dance across the water towards the people. "You're going to want to call for more help!"
Based on Luke 5:1-6
Really put yourself in Peter's shoes right now. Imagine it. You are dead bone exhausted. Your
feet hurt, and your back feels like someone beat you with a nine-iron golf club. Everything around you feels kind of fuzzy because you are just that tired. Then some man, whom you've never seen before, walks up, hops into your boat, and instructs you to push out from shore.
Then he tells you to go to the deep, let down that net, and prepare for the catch of a life.
He had been out all night. He knew there was nothing out there. He was tired and done.
And that's when Jesus showed up to change everything.
One of my favorite verses of all time is Psalm 46:5
"God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns."
When morning dawns...
For Peter, it was morning. It was the start of a new day, and that's when Jesus showed up and said, "Let down your net." Most of the time, we give up while it is still night. While it is still dark, and the fish are not nibbling, and our backs hurt from sitting all funny and hunched. If we give up now, then when morning breaks, and God says it's time, we will have already gone home. We would say, "No. I'm done, Lord. Send somebody else."
Peter even tried to tell Jesus that it was a dumb idea. He said. "Master, we toiled all night, and we caught nothing!" If in Peter's sandals, would we have said this, "But at your word, I will let down the nets."? Despite what Peter knew to be true, he listened to Jesus. This was the first encounter he had with Jesus, and the first of many strange things Jesus would ask him to do.
But he did them.
You need to know that morning is coming, and when it does, God's going to be there, and he's going to tell you to drop your net. However you may feel now, you need to know that is coming. What will you say? Will you give up because the night was long and cold? Or will you trust what He's saying? Will you let down your net for the catch? Perhaps you've already given up and left. We want signs and reassurance before we are willing to continue, but Peter did what Jesus asked of him despite his own doubts. The world changed because Peter was willing to do as Jesus asked without any proof it would work. What about us?
All the assurance you will ever need, is right here.
"God is in the midst of her (him, you, me); she (him, you, me) will not be moved; God will help her (him, you, me) when morning dawns." Psalm 46:5
Despite it all, wait it out, and let down your net. Because He's here, and His help is coming.
V. Joy Palmer