Sunday, July 16, 2017

When You Get What You Thought You Wanted and It Wasn't

"I want what I want." 

We may not say those words, but we feel that way all too often. In our affluent, entitled culture, wanting something usually means getting it. The problem comes when the getting doesn't work out like we expected. I've experienced the disappointment of an answered prayer, a dream obtained, more than once. 

It taught me to pray the prayer that never fails. "Thy will be done."

I wonder if it was this kind of getting-what-he-thought-he wanted-and-finding-out-it-wasn't that helped Peter walk away from the fishing boats. 

You probably remember this story. Jesus was preaching by the Sea of Galilee. The crowds were about to press Him into the water, so he commandeered Simon Peter's fishing boat. When He finished speaking, Jesus paid the boat rental by giving what every fisherman dreams of having: the catch of a lifetime.

The nets scooped up so many fish, the load nearly sank Simon Peter's boat. His partners in the second boat came alongside to help carry the catch, and their boat was nearly sunk, too. 

When Peter realized he had a catch like no other, he recognized Jesus for who He was and fell at His feet. "Depart from me. I'm a sinner, Lord," he  told Jesus. 

Everyone was astounded by the catch, but, according to Luke 5, Peter was the only one face-down on the deck. 

Jesus' response always surprises me. (Leanna Paraphrase coming up.) "Don't be afraid, Peter. You won't ever be able to top this catch, but you won't have to. From now on, you'll be fishing for men." 

Peter left the boats that day. He only went back once. Both times, Jesus called him to something more, because the catch of a lifetime was not as fulfilling, nor as exciting as what Jesus had planned. It was a hard plan, filled with sacrifice and suffering, but it was worth it.

His plan for us is worth it, too. When Scripture tells us God will give us the desires of our heart, it doesn't mean He will give us everything we want. I believe it means He will replace our tawdry dreams of overfilled nets and replace them with the dreams of changed hearts and restored lives. That's what He's done for me, and He can do that for all of us.

Today, let's do what Peter did in the face of answered prayers and dreams fulfilled. Face-down on the deck, He gave them all to Jesus and allowed Him to replace His net-dreams with God-dreams, God-desires. 

That surrender changed his life, and it'll change our lives, too. 

"Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4 nasb
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In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: Why Pruning Sooner is Always Better

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