A Deeper Experience

by Kevin Hart

It was the beginning of a brand new day and light flooded the countryside as the sun climbed above the horizon. The sounds of seagulls filled the air as the water gently lapped the shore.

Here, on the edge of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus stepped into Peter’s boat and taught the crowd. The night before, Peter, James, John, and the others exhausted themselves fishing, to no avail. Discouraged and frustrated, they were surprised when He said, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” Luke 5:4.

Didn’t Jesus know that fishing was done at night when the fish were less likely to notice the nets? Did Jesus not know His disciples had fished all night, with no results? Didn’t He know that they’d spent most of the morning mending their nets, and that they’d rather not cast them out for nothing?

For us to ask if Jesus knew the answer to these questions is rather silly, because He knows everything. But how often do we question whether God knows what He’s doing in the midst of our discouragements and trials? How often have we wondered if He knows what’s going on, and that we’ve done everything we can to help?

If a job is the problem, we should ask ourselves if we’ve put in applications at every possible location. If health is the problem, we should ask ourselves if we’ve done all we know to improve it. I’ve picked up all the overtime I can; I’ve tried everything to restore my troubled relationship; I’ve tried every natural remedy to better my health. Now what, Lord?

The disciples had fishing down to a science. They’d done everything by the book—they were expert fisherman, after all. Still, after countless hours, they had nothing to show for their labor.

At Jesus’ request Simon Peter hesitated, but didn’t argue much. “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing,” he answered, “nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” Luke 5:5.

Perhaps the Lord is saying to you today: “I know it doesn’t make any sense, but push out into the deep water and let down your net.”

Forget the fact that you’ve tried everything, and trust Jesus. Trust Him in the deep water. “And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.” Luke 5:6.

God is not dependant upon logic, banking hours, or deadlines. Jesus’ ability to fill your emotional net is not dependant on get-well cards or sweet nothings. His ability to fill your spiritual cup is not dependant upon rights, rituals, or ancient creeds. In fact, since the Lord can create something out of nothing, He isn’t dependant on anything at all!

One of the privileges I have while working in the Pastoral Ministries Department is to hear the developing stories of so many who have trusted the Lord against the logic of their circumstances. How wonderful to get that phone call with a praise report of how the Lord provided more than was needed or expected!

When we follow the Lord’s leading we can expect great things. They may come at the end of a dark night full of toil and care, but if we trust Him, they will come. When we live our lives according to His guidance, we can be sure our needs will be provided, sometimes in the most unusual way!

What have you caught lately? Are your nets empty? If so, try trusting the Lord when nothing seems to make sense. Surrender it all to Jesus, believing He’s in control. Cast your nets deep!

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