My hands seared with pain as the rough wood took its strain against raw blisters. Each time I pulled the oar closer to me and with each strain I took in a sharp breath of indignation, of frustration… of, well madness .... Didn’t he know who I was! … I mean, didn’t he know what I did as a profession, telling me where to go and what to do. I’d worked these waters my entire life, I knew what I was doing. I was the professional fisherman. Who was he? Not a fisherman ... he knew nothing about fishing ... stupid carpenters always trying to fix things.
I turned as the waves splashed over my arms ... and saw his eyes twinkle at me …”oh, come on”, I thought, “are you kidding? I’ve been fishing all night! Don’t you think I know what I’m doing? I’ve already told you there’s nothing here to catch ... I’m tired ... this journey needs to end ... I want to go home.”
As if reading my mind, Jesus instructed us to throw the nets over. I sighed. I’d love to say there was an element of trust, of excitement, but no, I felt nothing of the kind. I was dead bone weary ... weary enough just to obey.
“Come on lads” he said, “It’s here for you. Give them nets a good throw now.” The nets exploded into the sky and slapped down into the sea … we watched … half expectant, half relieved that now we could just say we had tried one final time and we could legitimately give up.
Suddenly ... the ropes went taut… “The net ... the net, its full to bursting!” I heard someone shout. Other’s panicked ... “get it up, get it up … quickly now ... there’s so much, it could capsize us!” Someone joked ... we laughed ... we praised … we all worked with all our might … our hearts had transitioned … expectantly we received the bounty of provision. There was so much of it we didn’t know what to do! We called other boats alongside to help .. so much ... so much… we had never seen so much.
We are so like Peter; we think we are the professional ones navigating of our lives; that we know all the timings and the paths (fishing lanes!) we should take to get the best return. This story always reminds me that Jesus knows it all. He sees under the waves, through the water, past the obstacles, he sees our past and present circumstances. He sees exactly where the prize is.
What is it that you are fishing for today? What is it that you are bone weary over? What is it that you think you know more about than God? I encourage you to let God lead you, recognise that you may know a lot, but you don’t know it all. He is the professional here ... He knows exactly where you need to put your nets down, let Him teach you how to fish ... let Him teach you how to live. He knows it all.