“So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch. But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net. And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signalled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.” (Luke 5 vs 1-7)
When I read the above passage of scripture this morning, I felt that the Lord gave me the following word. I believe it is for all of us to an extent, but particularly for those who feel, like Simon Peter did, that they have been ‘toiling all night and catching nothing,’ whose ministry has been “beached” by COVID, and who now have nothing better to do than sit on the shore and wonder about where their ministry is going. I believe the Lord would say this:
“It feels to you that your boat is pulled up on the shoreline. You aren’t catching fish at the moment so you are thinking about your ministry. Before you came ashore you had been working hard but catching nothing, so now you are thinking about your net and how you can improve it so that you can catch fish when you go out again. But even now I am walking along the shoreline towards you. You don’t need to do any more to your net, because I am going to get into your boat myself. Your ministry isn’t about how good your net is, or what you do to make it better; it’s about me being in the boat and launching out with you into the deep , because that is where the fish are. And together we will catch so many fish that you will feel overwhelmed; you will feel as if you are sinking under the weight of the catch. Will you launch out with me anyway? Will you come with me into the deep and face being overwhelmed?
So look up from your net and look out for me, because I am walking towards you. And when we get back into the shore you won’t be sitting by your nets again, making sure they are good enough and discussing them with your friends; but you will be walking with me, going wherever I go and doing whatever I do. And that is when you will be fishers of men.”