Reading: Luke 5:1-6
In this story of Luke, Simon and his companions had been out fishing all night, but by morning, they had nothing to show for their toil. When Jesus came their way in the morning, they were busy cleaning their empty fishing nets, discouraged that they had nothing to take home with them. Jesus asked them to lower their nets again, and they bluntly told him ‘we have already done that and we got nothing!’
Some of us have toiled out our lives, but at the end of that toil, we have nothing to show for it. We could have worked in a company for so many years, and worked probably harder than everyone else, but when retrenchment comes, we are the first to go.
We have been taught to believe that hard work pays, but many are the times when in the wake of an aspect of our life, we are somewhere ‘cleaning our empty nets’, with nothing to take home, with nothing to show for our night-long labour.
It can get so discouraging to the point that we do not even want to hear any more of God’s promises. They feel empty and unbecoming, and the last we want is another count to our pile of broken dreams.
The men in Luke knew Jesus, they had walked with him, they had followed him, they had seen him do great things, so when he asked them to lower their nets again, they reluctantly agreed, but only because it was him asking. And when they had done so, ‘…they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break’ (Luke 5:6).
What had taken them an entire night’s labour and failed, Jesus did it in an instant and succeeded. What has taken us our entire lives and brought forth little or nothing, Jesus can fix it in an instant. It doesn’t matter how long we have toiled, it doesn’t matter that morning has come and our nets are empty, it doesn’t matter to Jesus; because he has been working out something in secret, and sometimes what we have to do is look again.
God wants to bring us to another side of rest, where we will serve him in rest, where we will live our lives in rest and not toil. He tells us in his word that it is him who gives us the power to create wealth, and basically everything else, for without him nothing can be. Before we give up on our situations, let us look again, and give Jesus a chance to do great things for us.