Can Jesus Borrow Your Boat?

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Nobody is on top of the world every day. We all experience ups and downs. Sometimes the world is sweet and sometimes it is sour. Sometimes life moves along smoothly; we accomplish what we set out to do and meet all our goals. And
sometimes, things get stuck and life comes to a painful halt.

In Luke 5:1–11, we meet three discouraged fishermen—not recreational fishermen, but workers whose families went hungry if there was no catch. They had fished all night and caught absolutely nothing. Now it was morning and the men were washing their nets to go home empty-handed.

Suddenly Jesus steps into Simon's boat, "Put out into the deep water and let your
nets down for a catch."

Peter must had been thinking, “Really?” Have you ever been there? You do your
best. You work hard. And the results are zero. An important relationship goes sour and there is nothing you can do. You watch a marriage dissolve and you can't save it. A project you have put a lot into just will not pan out. The harder you try, the less you produce.

Suddenly, your inner voice tells you, “just give up!” Happened to you? Of course! And the last thing you want to hear when you are in this position is someone saying, "try harder."

These fishermen were not stupid men. They knew the lake, the ledges where the fish congregated, the kind of weather you had to have to bring in a good catch. They knew the time to fish and where to fish and they had been fishing at the right time and at the right place, yet still came up empty.

"Try over there," Jesus says. "Over there in the deep water; let your nets down for a catch over there," as he points with his finger.

Peter replies, "We have done everything we should have done, everything we were taught to do by our fathers and there fathers before them. We know our business here Jesus, and we have caught nothing. . . . BUT . . . if you say so, we can
let down the nets, again."

You know the story from here. They threw the nets out from Simon's boat and caught such a great score of fish that the nets began to break. Indeed they caught so many fish that the boats began to sink. It was an amazing catch. A catch made in deep water. A catch taken where there should have been no catch to be had. A catch taken at a time of day when everyone know the fish don’t bite! It was a miracle catch!

“Put out into the deep waters and let down your nets for a catch.” When I read those words I can almost hear Jesus calling you and me, “Come on, Ron, let’s dive a little deeper here.”

“But I tried that before!” I respond.

“Come on, let’s try it again,” Jesus says. So I give Jesus control of my boat . . . my job . . .my relationships . . . my finances! It’s not about having the power or talent to do great things. It’s about answering the question, ‘have I allowed Jesus into my boat?’ He’s now the captain. Sometimes we just need to head out into the deep waters and let down our nets for no better reason than Jesus has asked us to do so
So, when it comes to my work . . .”Come on board Jesus.” My relationships? . . . “Welcome aboard.” My finances? . . . “Push off Jesus, here we go!”

Our nets may still come up empty from time to time, but that’s okay too, because I’m traveling with Jesus. I can’t go it alone and I’m giving him control of my vessel; venturing out with One more qualified at the helm. Scary? Sometimes! Storms?
Occasionally. But there is always the potential for a miracle catch!

Can Jesus borrow your boat today? Can you say, “Come aboard Jesus . . . take over.” I wonder what adventure he has in store for you?

[Ron Otto, Preaching minister at Lincoln Christian Church in Lincoln]


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