Sunrise on the Sea of Galilee…
One recent morning as I read Luke 5, I read about Jesus at the lake of Gennesaret, and I remembered what it was like to be on the Sea of Galilee in the morning. The winds were calm. The sun sparkled on the glassy waters. It was quiet and serene.
However, in chapter 5 of Luke, it’s not really a quiet setting because a crowd has pressed in closely that they might be near Jesus, hear Him teach and watch Him perform a miracle – perhaps on their behalf. They pushed and shoved to be near Him – so much that Jesus stepped onto Simon Peter’s boat, and asked Simon Peter to push out a little from shore. Then He sat down and taught from a floating pulpit! The Scripture says that when He’d finished teaching, He told Peter to launch out into the deep waters and let down his nets for a “draught.”
Though Peter had been out fishing all night and caught nothing, he obeys the Lord. Not long thereafter, he pulled the net from the waters, and there were so many fish that the net broke and he required the assistance of James and John to bring the great catch to shore! It was an amazing miracle that made Peter drop to his knees in humble adoration and admission of his own sinfulness.
The thought that has been a blessing to my heart in reading Matthew Henry’s notes about this, is this: When we serve Christ, there is great recompense! That’s not the reason we serve Him, but it’s still the truth. The reward of a “full net” doesn’t always come when we think it should. Sometimes we are toiling in the night season. Darkness is around us. Cold seeps into our bones. We are weary. It seems that nothing is coming from our service – whether it’s in our personal witness to a lost person, our ministry at church, our pouring into our children’s lives. The net is very empty. We come in from the deep waters of serving and just decide to wash out the nets and go home. Have you ever wanted to quit? We all have! That’s when the Lord decides to step into the ship and give us an abundant blessing. He fills our net to overflowing.
My husband’s net “got filled up” recently when he received a Facebook message from a person from the past saying that because of his witness years ago, their family member got saved, and thought he’d want to know! You better believe he wanted to know! What a blessing.
When one of my Sunday school students gets saved, fish are jumping everywhere in my net!
Our recent trip to Israel was another “Full net” experience! We didn’t deserve to go, but out of the love of our church people’s hearts, they desired to send us that we might be their eyes and ears and be better able to fulfill the ministry to which the Lord has called my husband.
If your net is empty at the time, keep faithfully serving. In His time, the Lord will allow you to go back into the deep and reap a harvest of fish. Yes, indeed, the recompense for serving Christ is abundant!