Sunday, January 5, 2014

Deep Water

     One day as Jesus was standing by the Sea of Galilee, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God.  He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets.  He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
      When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”  Luke 5:1-5
     The story continues that the men launch their boats out into the deep water and caught so many fish that the nets break.  And from then on Simon, James, and John follow Jesus.
     Can you picture the crowd at the water’s edge, pressing on Jesus so that He asks a fisherman to let Him stand in his boat? Can you smell the salty air and hear the cries of the birds soaring overhead, and the deep rumbling voice of our Savior speaking words of truth?  Then Jesus turns to Simon, who was to become Peter, and asks him to launch out into the deep water.  Jesus didn’t make an announcement to the crowd, or speak to the fishermen in general, no Jesus was in Simon’s boat.  A boat about the size of a row boat, small, intimate. Jesus leaned over and spoke to Simon directly, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets.”
    I don’t know about you, but, I like to play in the shallow waters myself.  It’s familiar in the shallows. There is something comfortable about knowing that the water isn’t too deep.  I like to stay where I can see the bottom.  There aren’t any unknowns in the shallow water.  There are fewer risks.
     Unlike me though, Simon was a fisherman, used to leaving sight of the shore.  But he was a tired, failed fisherman that morning.  He had been out all night and not caught anything.  He had given up on fishing for the day.  He was just starting to get comfortable.  Just about to take a much needed rest.  But Jesus asked him to try again and not just go out a little further, He told Simon to take his little boat and go into the deep water.  It wasn’t the time to get comfortable.
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”  ~Isaiah 40:31
     It was time to do something that Simon Peter had never done before.  To launch out into the deep in a leap of faith.  To not be satisfied to stay near the comfortable shore.  To sail on eagles wings.  To put out his nets where the waves had once rolled over him.   It was time to launch into the unknown, into his future with Christ.  To go, just because Jesus said to.  To let down his nets to an abundant harvest, to a miracle, to deeper things.
     Each year I chose a word to consider.  This year my word is Sail.  I want to catch the wind of the Spirit in my sail and launch out into deeper water, to leave the comfort of the shore, to experience a deeper walk with Jesus.
“Now Voyager, sail forth to seek and find.”  ~Walt Whitman
     Put out into deep water.
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