One day, as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonged to Simon, and asked him to put it out a little from shore. Then, he sat down and taught the people from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.’ Simon answered, ‘Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.’ When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.” Luke 5:1-7
While reading this story, this thought came to my mind: What you seek is in the deep water. Do not cling to the perceived safety of the shore and its shallow waters, “Put out into deep water.” If you have ever been in deep water and found yourself struggling to keep your head above the water, it can be a terrifying experience. I have found myself there several times and one time in particular, I actually thought I was going to die. It makes you think twice before going out into deep water again.
Many of us are feeling the overwhelming volume and pressures of life and ministry. In a sense, it feels like we are “in over our heads.” But the “fish” are in the deeper waters. And Jesus is saying to us today, just as he did to Peter, “Put out into deep water.” He is not saying sacrifice your family for ministry. He is not saying work yourself to death. And he is not saying this is how it is always going to be. What he is saying is trust me – follow me – rest in me.
Peter’s response was great when Jesus told him to cast out the nets. Peter says “we have done that already and for what, nothing. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” The real catch is in the deep water. And by catch, I mean whatever it is you are trusting God for in this moment. It is not going to be found, realized or gained in the shallow waters of the shore.
Are you willing to row back out there and try again? When Jesus says, “put out into deep water,” we must respond as Peter did and say, “Okay Jesus, I don’t see where this is going, but because you say so, I will do it.” Take time this week to sit still before the Lord and listen. And if He says go deep, then go deep!