Throw Your Net on the Other Side

19 Aug

Just the other day, I revisited the colorful story of Peter’s fishing excursion with his partners after the resurrection; tucked away in the closing chapter of the gospel of John. Seems that Peter, (not really knowing what to do but needing to do something constructive and productive), returned to the very thing he may not have wanted to do–but knew HOW to do. Peter may not have been highly skilled in many things, but the man knew how to catch fish! Unfortunately, he’d been out of practice for a while.

For the past three years, Peter had been traveling with Jesus and assisting him in his ministry along with the other eleven disciples. He hadn’t been anywhere near a boat since he saw Jesus walking on the water and my guess is he hadn’t missed those late nights and early mornings trying to carve out a living catching fish !

However this one fishing story is amazingly true. Peter, the ever impulsive disciple tells his friends that he’s going fishing. He did not care who went with him, but like most natural born leaders, he convinces the rest of the group to join in and they gladly follow Peter. And why not? They might just pull in a catch.

Well, hours go by and there’s nothing to show for their effort. Not even a nibble. The evening sunset slowly fades to black and they spend the whole night on the water with nothing to show for their efforts. As the morning sun glistens over Lake Geneseret, a familiar voice carries across the water. “Throw your net on the other side of the boat and you’ll find some fish”.
Peter and his fellow fisherman must have thought: “Who does that guy think he is —telling us how to fish? Doesn’t he know we are professionals? We are sick and tired after being out here all night and the last thing were gonna do is pull up our nets on a whim and toss them on the other side. It’s just too much work after a long night.

But for some reason, Peter and the guys decide to give it a go one last time. One more toss on the other side of the boat and we’re throwing in the towel– not realizing that they were about to get their nets stretched for the biggest haul of the season; maybe ever!

Once Peter realized it was Jesus calling from the shore, the ever unpredictable disciple, forgets about the catch, leaves the nets to his partners and makes a mad dash for the shoreline. NO WONDER they caught so much fish– it was Jesus calling the shots.

One word of instruction from Jesus is a hundred times better than ALL of our best efforts. In fact, our best ideas on our best day are no match for the master’s voice. Peter wasn’t 100% sure it was Jesus speaking from the shoreline, but he was willing to give it one more shot.

Let me encourage you not to give up. Don’t throw in the towel. Many of us have been doing it the hard way and not listening to the “still small voice” calling to us from the distance. When we position ourselves to hear the voice of God, when we listen and obey, we may just haul in the biggest catch of our lives! It does not matter if it’s a business venture, a ministry endeavor or a financial decision. Listen to that still small voice inside. Our God longs to speak to us. We only need to listen and obey.

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One Response to “Throw Your Net on the Other Side”

  1. Cole Bradburn August 19, 2009 at 2:10 pm #

    love it. the thing we are missing so much is the quiet, the peace to hear that “still small voice.” It’s easy to talk to God, it is much harder and requires patience to listen to Him.

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