I love it when the Lord shows a person an insight from His Word that is just right for the moment. Let me share such a moment in the life of one of the folks with whom I am working.
“Went to read the Bible with Jesus this evening and what I read with Him, starting in Luke 5:4, brought such encouragement to my life. I knew this passage was about Jesus calling His first disciples but as I read it this time I saw something much different – I saw Jesus’s response to failure.”
“After teaching a crowd from Simon’s boat, Jesus makes a request of Simon who responds by saying, ‘Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.’ Simon had failed. The master fisherman had labored all night with this result – no fish. But Jesus was about to restore Simon in the midst of that failure. Jesus did not criticize or tell Simon to try harder. Neither did He simply overlook the incident. Instead, Jesus took him back to the place of failure and produced something good from it. After Simon had fished all night unsuccessfully, Jesus tells him to “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” In other words, ‘Go back to the place of disappointment – with Me – and try again.’ Simon did that and ‘caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.'”
“In our marriage it has been easy to assume when we were not successful at something that it simply wasn’t “God’s will.” However, I’m more inclined today to see the truth that I (we) failed because I relied on my own strength and “wisdom” instead of His. Failure has been a way God has gotten my attention. And as I read I saw that even though Simon wanted to give up, he chose to reply, ‘but because you say so, I will let down the nets.'” I already knew this at some level but needed to remember that one word from Jesus can change everything and can put success within reach. Because I am not “successful” in our marriage today does not mean it is not God’s will. It is more about me doing it in my own strength and the failure is His way of getting my (and our) attention. But this is good stuff because He can change that “failure” as He did with Simon.”
“I also thought it was kind of funny that Jesus took Simon back out to the deep water fully knowing that Simon would not be doing that much longer – but Jesus never said that to Simon. He could have said, “Simon, don’t worry about the failure last night. You will not be doing this much longer.” Instead Jesus took him back to the failure and produced something good from it: victory where there had been defeat. Then the Lord led him on the next leg of their journey together. The essence of the experience with Jesus.”
“Because of what I have experienced before with Jesus I know this is true. But I had not seen that what He has been doing in many areas of my life He has always done – even with His disciples.”
For most of us life is not extremes of high highs and low lows. It is more the experience of rolling waves, with peaks and valleys. I think we’d all be surprised at what would happen in our lives if we did not simply ignore the dips but invited Jesus into them as they occur to “learn from Him”.