Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Deep water faith

When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, "Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch." (Luke 5:4 NASB)

(This is another passage that I have just seen in a new way. It might be my favorite of all!)

When Jesus sent Simon Peter back to the deep water, it was to do a certain task AND to have a certain result. His task was two-fold. He was to move into deep water and let down the fishing nets. The certain result was to receive the catch. Shallow water is easy, isn't it? There is very little risk there, but very few fish. It's a low risk investment, but also low yield. Deep water is different. It brings risk, not the least of which is capsizing and drowning. Deep water is risky, but oh what a yield is possible there! It's where the fish live. 

What we need to understand is that, when Jesus calls us to "deep water faith", he has the endpoint in sight. He sent Simon to the deep water knowing the fish he would gather in his nets there. In that same way, when He calls us to "deep water faith", He knows the endpoint, the reason for which He is sending us. At any point in his journey into the deep, Simon could have turned back. Even as the nets were being dropped, he could have remembered all the empty casts from the night before, pulled back on the nets, and turned for home. No one would have blamed him. It's likely that no one would have questioned him. After all, he was a professional fisherman and Jesus was not. It took pure faith in Jesus to stay in the boat and on the water. Had he turned back early, however, he would have missed the catch. 

In our own walk of faith, it is easy to remember all our failures, decide that what Jesus asks of us is pointless, and simply move back to "shallow water faith". We could give up our hoping and trusting, but to what benefit? There is no significant gain in the shallows. The blessings and the yield are in the deep water. Perhaps you have had times of uncertainty, doubt, fear. Maybe you feel as if your loved one is "too far gone" and that God can't or won't change them. Take heart. Simon only needed that one more cast to gain the catch of a lifetime, and it was the cast for which Jesus sent him to the water in the first place. Don't give up now. Trust that our heavenly Father knows the endpoint. He knows what He can do, and what He will do. Keep trusting. Keep praying. Keep waiting. 

Pray today for faith to persevere in the deep. Pray too for the cast that yields a harvest too wonderful to believe. Pray that our loved ones will quickly welcome the Savior into their lives and join us in "deep water faith".