Monday, August 21, 2006

In Your Boat

The last day or so I've been feeling really beaten down and discouraged.  One of my friends actually said my writing was depressing.  That is not what I'm about, so I was sought out ways to adjust my thinking.

I can across this great story in Luke 5 about about Peter and disciples when they were out fishing.  They had worked a long, hard night to no avail and were exhausted and ready to head in.  Jesus asked them to throw their nets out one more time. When they did they pulled in so many fish they almost sank their boat!  In a flash there efforts paid off and they had more rewards than they were ready to receive.

Sometimes I think it would be nice to have that kind of success.  I struggle to remember that I am truly blessed.  Whining about my petty problems, stressing over stupid stuff.  Keeping my eye on the prize reminds me that there is so much worse than how I have it.  Of course, my self-centeredness doesn't stop me from wanting the kind of abundant reward that Peter was given.  A huge heaping helping of success to feel encouraged about.  As I read about this, there were some specific take-aways I noticed in how Peter set himself up to be blessed in such abundance.

First, he asked Jesus onto his boat.  We know that Jesus waits for our invitation, He stands at the door of our life and knocks.  He wants to be with us in our boat, but we have to ask Him to join us.

Secondly, expect the miracle while in the boat.  Christ works within our situations, within our trials.  He doesn't just remove us from them.  While we are still in the boat, He works His will to bless us.  This isn't particularly doing the impossible, but about a change that is most needed.  Usually a big part of that change is within our lives.

Lastly you have to be honest with Him, and follow His guidance.  Being honest is essential to receiving grace.  Without honesty there can be no growth.  Without growth we miss the biggest part of those changes that will become our miracle.  Jesus tells Peter to cast his nets in deep water; so too do we need to dig deep within us to find our confession and confront our need for change.  When we know what needs be done, we must pursue it steadfastly, unerringly, and boldly.

When we tire of the race, when we feel beat down from the change, then we do it all again. Invite him into the boat, expect the miracle in the boat, be honest and follow His guidance.  His sufficiency will supply.

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