Not For Lack of Effort
I grew up going to the ocean, lakes, and rivers pretty often. I love the water, and being near it kind of gives me life and energy. Of course, I learned how to fish when I was really young, but truthfully I have never been very good at it. You see, fishing requires patience and finesse, and I lack both of them. Which is probably why all of the sports I had any skill in did not require subtlety.
I often went fishing and would prepare my rod and then cast out. I was always ready for a quick catch but no bites usually came as quickly as I hoped. Instead, I would sit and cast and wait. After a while, I would feel something, resistance. I would begin to fight and pull, and since I am a guy and require no help from anyone; I fought on in silence on the boat and tried to bring as little attention to myself as possible.
After time had passed, my dad or one of my uncles would realize that I was fighting Moby Dick and they would come over to assist. Of course, now I had to share the credit but whatever it took. Then all of a sudden they would cut the line.
You see, I snagged on rocks and all my effort was not turning the granite stones into salmon.
We often fight and scrounge using our best efforts, but we come up short. We come up short on the rent, or in the relationship, at work, or even with God. But it is not for a lack of effort, I promise.
Jesus went to a huge and beautiful lake, and there he found all the local fishermen scrounging for fish that simply were not there. But they kept on casting the net because it was their job, and they just had to keep going.
At this point it gets awkward, because Jesus walks into the docked boat of a man named Simon. Nothing about Simon’s life was significant up to this point. He worked hard to provide for his family, but little would be caught for them this day. Then Jesus simply tells Simon to go into the deep water and cast his net. Simon had a ton of respect for religious leaders so he does as instructed even though he is confused and questions Jesus’ intel.
All of a sudden the fish start thrashing in the lowered net, and so many come in that the weight begins to break the pulley system.
Simon’ only response is, “I can’t take this, Lord. I’m a sinful man. You shouldn’t be around the likes of me” (Luke 5:10 The Voice). Jesus loving responds by telling Simon that he has a purpose and he will be a part in transforming the world.
Simon was an average guy, and Jesus called him to a heroic purpose. But He does the same thing with each of us.
We are all called to live a life of purpose and fullness. But the problem for many of us is we are simply content with being snagged on rocks. We prefer to rely on our own strength, our own intelligence, and our own power to accomplish goals and progress in life. And I 100% agree that we should do our best in everything we do. But so were the fishermen next to Simon.
Effort does not guarantee success, only God’s plan can.
It might sound overly spiritual and I am okay with that, but God can and will do so much more through you then you could ever dream of doing alone.
Simon would have never envisioned what was to come in his life as our story progresses, but because he put faith in Jesus’ when he was called to drop his nets and get the big catch Jesus revealed a plan to change the world.
So what have you been holding back from God, what area of your life have you not given to Him? Are you tired of struggling and working and coming up with an empty net? I cannot promise you a perfect life, but God can promise you a life of purpose and power if you will trust Him with what you are struggling with today.