The disciples had been fishing all night long. Tired, exhausted, frustrated, disappointed and discouraged, and, I guess, with an empty stomach and hungry, they came back to the shore. And there Jesus, whom they didn’t recognise at the time, asks them the ‘inspiring and encouraging’ question: ‘Friends haven’t you any fish?’ And He told them to throw out the net once more on the right side. In the end they caught 153 fish; the number of varieties of fish said to be in the Sea of Galilee at that time. After this miracle they finally recognised Jesus and when they came ashore He had already prepared their breakfast.
You remember that Peter had such an experience once before, at the time when Jesus commissioned him in Luke 5:1-11. Peter was an experienced fisherman and yet they hadn’t caught a single fish all night. And there came this ‘inexperienced stranger’ telling them what to do. I believe it was due to the powerful message of Jesus Peter had just listened to that he was willing to cast the net once more on the right side upon Jesus’ word. And then it was Jesus who added the miracle to Peter’s obedience.
Sometimes we feel discouraged and weighed down like the disciples when nothing seems to work properly and when the fruit of our labour is missing or doesn’t seem to be visible. In such times we can so well identify with the prophet in Isaiah 49:4 who said: ‘I have laboured to no purpose; I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing. Yet what is due to me is in the Lord’s hand and my reward is with my God.’
It is in those times when it looks most bleak that God is just about to come through on our behalf. When we feel most weak and inadequate for the task ahead He will come through to be our strength and provider, performing miracles way beyond our ability or expectation. What a privilege that we can ask our Heavenly Father for His provision and His perspective of things. And He will provide and answer time and time again, and give us His strategy.
It’s not always easy to trust, especially if God seems to ask us the impossible. But as we dare to step out and experience His faithfulness our trust will grow step by step. Like the first time when they had fished all night in vain the disciples dared this time to step out once more upon Jesus’ word. They cast the net on the right side, and the rest was Jesus’ doing. When they came ashore Jesus ministered His food and love to them. May this be an experience we can have time and time again with our Lord.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have never ever let me down. Thank You that You always came through on my behalf at the right time and in the right way. I want to trust You for the way ahead and the task You’ve set before me. Upon Your word I want to move and be obedient in the things You’ve asked me to do. Thank You that You have provided me with everything I need to walk the walk. When I am at the end of myself You are just about to begin. Amen.
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