What has catching fish got to do with anything that's going on in your life today? Well, let's think about this story. The disciples had just come through the devastating experience of seeing their Master crucified on the cross, leaving them with many doubts, fears and questions about their own future. Then all of a sudden, they learn that He was not dead, but alive!
This was amazing news...but also perplexing. They weren't too sure just what all this meant for them and the purpose for their lives. So they went back to doing what they were accustomed to doing...they went fishing. They fished all night long, but they caught nothing. When they were obviously tired, frustrated and ready to call it quits, who comes along but Jesus, standing on the shore and asking them if they had any food. The Bible says the disciples did not realize it was Jesus at this point. When they told him that they did not, He told them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat and they would find some fish. I have a feeling their first thought was, "We've been out here all night long, and we've done everything we know how to do as professional fishermen, and the fish just aren't biting! We hate to disappoint this man, but we know this just isn't going to work...but we'll try it anyway..."
Can you imagine their shock and amazement when their nets became so full of fish that they could not even pull them in...and then they realized Who it was standing on the shore giving them instructions. Then they were so excited they couldn't wait to get to shore to see Him! Simon Peter even jumped overboard and swam to shore he was so thrilled.
Now, how can we compare this story with our situation today? I don't know about you, but I can see myself in these fishermen. When things get difficult in life, and when I become frightened or discouraged I often want to throw up my hands and quit. I can't see how anything good could possibly come out of such painful, stressful, frustrating, agonizing and horrendous situations that I may be facing. It is hard for me to "see the forest for the trees" when I am feeling lost and abandoned. But Jesus comes along and calls to me from the edge of the forest..."Here is the way...walk ye in it..."
When we pay attention to the message that Christ is giving us, whether it be through reading the Bible, or through the wisdom of friends and loved ones, or Doctors and spiritual guides, we are often amazed at the peace that takes hold of our hearts and minds and we find the directions for which we had been searching so diligently."Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, 'This is the way, walk in it...Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.'" (Isaiah 30:21)
Thank you, Lord, for the peace that passes all understanding as I yield to Your Divine wisdom and guidance. Help me let go of my self-directed plans and ideas, and trust more completely in You. I know I will stay on the right path that way... and maybe even catch some real "fish".