Just imagine with me for a moment. You are an expert fisherman. In fact, your entire existence is focused on fishing. Where to fish, when to fish, how to fish. What time of day to fish and how deep to fish. Fishing is your livelihood. If you don’t catch fish, you don’t eat. If you don’t catch fish, you can’t pay the bills.
Now imagine you have just returned from a long, frustrating night of fishing. Nothing went your way and you have returned to shore with empty nets. Now, despite the fact that your time and energy yielded no return, you still have to clean your nets. You’re tired, hungry and stressed out about how much money you lost today. And here comes Jesus.
Jesus has attracted quite a crowd and there are so many people pressing in around Him as He walks by the lake, He’s looking for a little breathing room. He steps in to your boat and asks you to put out a little from land. As you oblige, He sits down and proceeds to teach the crowd that has assembled on the shore. And then, He has the audacity to do this:
And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” Luke 5:4-5
Put out into the deep and let down my nets for a catch? Your blood starts to boil a little bit. After the night you just had, the last thing you want to do is head back out and do it all over again. Especially after you just finished cleaning your nets.
Sometimes the Lord asks us to do things that simply don’t make sense. When we evaluate His commands using our own logic and reason, it just doesn’t add up. When we consider the potential outcomes of obedience to His commands, sometimes we just don’t think it’s worth it.
But then we see the example of Simon. Now sure, he makes it a point to tell Jesus that he toiled all night and took nothing. In other words, “this will be a waste of our time”. But still, he obeys. He says, “at your word I will let down the nets”. At your word. Sometimes the important thing is not what’s being asked as much as Who is asking.
I pray that I would have that attitude. That even though I may confess my doubts and even though things might not make sense to me, I would obey His word. Not because I understand it. Not because it makes sense to me. But simply because it’s His word.
I pray that His word is always enough for me. That I might not need, depend or rely on anything more than His word. That I walk by faith in response to His word and not by sight. After all, His word is living and active. His word is useful for teaching, correcting, rebuking and training in righteousness. His word created the heavens and the earth. His word called a dead man out of a grave.
Lord, at your word, I will.