The disciples had been trying to fish all night and had caught nothing. They had struggled for hours but came up empty handed. I bet they were frustrated. Fishing was their livelihood and without fish how could they survive? Now, defeated, they stood by the shore washing their nets before they put them away. In other words, they had given up.
One day Jesus was standing on the shore of Lake Gennesaret while the people pushed their way up to him to listen to the word of God. And He saw two boats pulled up on the beach; the fishermen had left them and were washing the nets. – Luke 5:1, 2
It is terrible when all of your strength and talents get you nowhere. The fishermen were just that: fishermen; and yet despite their many years of experience they were powerless to do that which they were known to do best. Their pride was shot. It was a humbling experience, and with a look of defeat they returned to shore to wash their nets. As this happened, Jesus was being pressed by a huge multitude of people who had come to hear Him speak. Interestingly enough, this was happening by the lake of Gennesaret, that same place where the disciples were washing their nets. And just as the disciples were ending their day, Jesus was starting His. That’s because whenever we reach the end of our rope and are ready to quit, Jesus is just getting started.
When we reach the point of defeat and feel as though we have nowhere left to go, no one to turn to, no hope for the future, and no way out; we don’t need to worry ourselves too much. There is one that sees our struggle. He knows our burden, and though He may seem far away He’s right there by the same lake of hardship and pain that we find ourselves in. He sees us! And not only that, He’s going to do something about it. Jesus isn’t some philosopher who speaks eloquently about the mysteries of life while sitting on a comfortable chair. He isn’t some politician who makes mesmerizing promises of change while building up his own prosperity. He isn’t some theologian who preaches poetic sermons about the power of God while avoiding the commitment it takes to receive that power. When Jesus sets out to fix something He intends to do what He sets out to do.
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photo credit: Keith Chastain via photopin cc