“We’re coming, too!” came the unified response.
The sudden afternoon storm subsided. The roiling waters now stilled to a soothing pulse of gentle waves lap against the pebbly shoreline as if tapping a coded message, enticing the men to the secret bounty of the sea’s depth.
Jumping onboard the fishing boat, the men set out on the Sea of Tiberias.
As the sun slowly slides behind the western hills, it spins out threads of red, orange, and gold against the azure sky as the crystal blue waters glisten with mirrored hills.
While the dark hours pass, the men cast their nets over and over upon the water, each time coming up empty-netted. Disappointed, they head back.
As night bows to dawn, wisps of pink, blue, and violet blush across the sky as a pale haze hangs over the surface of the sea.
Just as their boat draws close to shore, a man’s voice calls out to the men, “Did you catch anything?”
“No,” is their discouraged reply.
“Throw out your net on the right side of the boat, and you’ll catch some!” yells the man.
Although somewhat baffled, the men throw out their net. It splashes on the water’s surface and sinks. Within minutes, they can barely draw in the net; it is filled to capacity with a multitude of fish.
As the impact of the miracle confronts them, John turns to Peter and blurts out, “It is the Lord!”
Hearing this, Peter whips around, puts on the outer garment he had removed earlier, steps onto the edge of the boat, and takes a flying leap into the water. Headstrong Peter, the waterboy!
The others jump into the skiff and head for shore, dragging the net-full of fish with them.
On the shore, bending over a bed of coals, Jesus pokes at the simmering fish and bread and says to them, “Come and have some breakfast.”
As the men gather around the fire, Jesus breaks the bread and shares it with the disciples; then passes out the fish. Once again, serving up the miracle of the loaves and fishes. A pleasant and loving surprise.
During a night of fruitless struggling, toiling under our own efforts, we will always come up empty-handed. When the Lord gives us a command, and we immediately obey, He meets us at the break of morn with a fresh supply of His unfailing love, as scripture says, “The Lord’s unfailing love and mercy still continue, fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise.” (Lam. 3:22-23 Good News Translation)
Doesn’t that bless you? God will always shower His love and mercy on us, filling our empty nets when we cast them upon the depths of His Word.
Become aware of the Lord’s voice and heed the Master’s call. When you dive out of the boat of self-effort, you will find provision ready and waiting, a foretaste of heaven’s table to fulfill your hunger, whether physical or spiritual…or both. He will break the bread and pass out the fish to you as rewards.
He waits on the shore for you to come to Him. As Bruce Wilkinson says in the Secrets of the Vine, “Are you standing precariously at a launching point in your life? Do you hear a voice calling? It is the Lord. I hope you jump.”
May you launch out and jump in the waters of obedience; Jesus is waiting for you with a sweet surprise!
Ready? Set! Jump!