One of my favorite stories in the Bible occurs in Luke chapter 5. Simon has just finished fishing all night but apparently not caught anything. His situation reminds me of many times when I felt I had worked and worked and worked and accomplished nothing.
I am sure we have all experienced this defeat more times than we care to remember.
But Jesus got into the boat and said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” (Luke 5:4) Simon then complains that he fished all night and caught nothing. What difference would more effort make now? BUT…he listens anyway. He was tired and frustrated, I am sure. He surely harbored some doubts about why Jesus was asking him to go out yet again. But he did it anyway. At YOUR word, he says.
The story continues in verse 6, “And when they had done this they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.” They listened, went out deeper, and caught such a haul their nets couldn’t even contain it.
How many times in our lives are we called to "go out deeper"? We may not be ready. We may be tired, frustrated, scared, doubtful. And yet, here is the call to go out deeper. Why? I live in South Florida and am surrounded by beaches. I grew up with a pool and a boat. I am no stranger to water and yet I am not a strong swimmer. Although I go to the beach quite often and love it, I usually do not venture far out.
Quite honestly, it looks like fun. But I am afraid to go too far. The shoreline seems safer.
I am more comfortable near land.
When God calls us to step out into the deep He may be asking us to go deeper into our ministry, deeper into our walk, deeper into our jobs. He may be calling us to step out of our comfort zone. So many times we hear Him calling us out deeper but we don’t go, opting instead to stay with what we know. It feels safe to stay in shallow water. In doing so, however, we fall short of our full potential. Jesus invites us, “Come on out into the deep and cast your nets for a haul,” but the only nets we seem to be interested in are our safety nets.
I’ve always enjoyed writing. Since I was a child, I would sit and write, even whipping out whole books at a time! I wrote them, read them one time, and then tossed them out. Why this strange behavior? I didn’t want anyone to read what I had written because I feared they wouldn’t like it. What if they thought it was stupid? What if they made fun of me? What if I wasn’t good at writing? I was afraid to leave shore. Still, God called me to write and now, many years later, I listen. We should learn to trust God and go out deeper. Maybe you feel called to witness but are worried about what people may think. Maybe you want to start a ministry but you feel intimidated. Maybe you want to sing but fear no one wants to listen. Sing anyway! Minister anyway! Witness anyway! Go into the deep trusting He will give you a blessing so great you will not be able to contain it!
Diane Ferreira is a wife and mother living in South Florida. She has been actively involved in various ministries for over 15 years. She has dreamed of being a writer since she was old enough to read, and is now living that dream by writing her first novel. In addition to writing, Diane works for a Fortune 500 company and has owned several businesses. She is also a successful public speaker and personal coach.