In Deep Water –
My message today is about trusting God, even when we are challenged to follow the Lord into deep water! From my youth, I have enjoyed the water. I like swimming and playing in the water. I like sitting by water and watching the waves go by. The sound of water, forming waves from the wind and current, gives me a sense of inner peace and calm. I like letting the water in an ocean or big lake, hit me and drag me out towards the deep. In that moment, I know that I am helpless and totally dependent upon the grace of God. As a little boy, my parents took me and my younger brother, Emory to Jones Beach in New York. A wave hit me, knocked me down, and the current dragged me over the rough sand out toward the sea. I survived the current, but even now, I think about the awesome power of the waves and my helplessness to fight back. When I consider the depths of the waters, I am filled with the knowledge that I am only a small part of the creation of God. It humbles me and puts my life into perspective.
At the beginning of his earthly ministry, Jesus preaches and teaches to a crowd near Capernaum. Jesus steps into a fishing boat, owned by Simon Peter. The boat provides Jesus with some personal space which he uses to speak to the masses. They are only a short distance from the shore. After the crowd leaves, Jesus tells Simon Peter to “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”
Peter loves Jesus, but it seems as if his response to Jesus goes something like this: “Jesus I love you and accept you as Lord and Savior, but with all due respect, what do you know about fishing? I have been fishing all my life. I am aquatinted with every inch of this lake. My brother and friends and I have been fishing all night long and we have not caught many fish.
Jesus insists that he put out into the deep water and he will find a great catch of fish. Eventually, Peter gives in and the rest is history. They put out into the deep of the lake and there are so many fish the nets begin to break. What are some of the lessons we can learn from this story?
First, Jesus knows more than we do. Peter thought he knew it all, but Jesus showed him something about the fish in the Sea of Galilee he did not know.
Second, even though he doubted Jesus, Peter trusts Jesus enough to put out into the deep.
Third, sometimes like Peter, we are reluctant to go into deep water. Deep water is dangerous water, but like Peter, if we want to be successful, we need to get beyond our fears and arrogance and humble ourselves to follow the direction of Jesus.
Jesus uses the example of the great catch of fish to let Peter know that if he follows him, he will make him a “Fisher of people.”
To me, this text is saying, trust the Lord and he will show you blessings far greater than anything you ever could have imagined!
Luke 5: 4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”
Questions for Reflection:
- What are some of the greatest tests of faith you have experienced?
- Have the tests to your faith strengthened or weakened your faith?
Prayer: Lord, teach me to trust you. Lord, increase my faith that I might follow you. Lord, grant me strength and courage to believe in you, hope in you and love unconditionally without fear. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.
Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
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