He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. John 21:6 (NIV)
Peter and a few of the Disciples are out on the dark water all night. They catch nothing. In the morning as the sun rises on the scene, Jesus calls out to them from the shore. He suggests that they do something different. He tells them to throw the net on the other side of the boat. When the Disciples do follow Jesus´ wishes, they cannot bring in the net because they catch too many fish. It is just a short story of how Jesus shows Himself to the Disciples after He has risen from the dead. But could it be a clear example of how Jesus still moves in our lives today? We struggle through our dark hours. We labor in vain. For all our efforts we just can´t seem to catch what we are fishing for. Then the sun comes up for us. As the first rays begin to soften the darkness we start to see. When the Light strengthens we can see more clearly. Finally comes the glorious moment when Jesus can call to us. When we do hear His voice, we may or may not recognize it. But if we do follow His encouragement, our net will fill to overflowing. But we will have to hear Him! We will have to obey His call to us! We will have to be moved! We will have to do as He says and throw the net where we didn´t expect!
The times have changed and the faces too. We are no longer sitting on a boat in the waters of Galilee. But we are struggling against the odds. We do everything we can think of to gain what little we can. The world is there. If we choose it we can have what it has to offer us. Or we can listen for that sweet voice. We can patiently wait out those dark hour with our hearts quietly communed with His. The Disciples did not know how Jesus would come to them. But surely He was all that was on their minds. The true follower of our time cannot expect anything different. We cannot expect that the Lord will part water for us unless we are placing our hearts where He can call to us. He will come. Jesus will speak. He will tell us where to throw our net. But there is much that we can be doing now to prepare ourselves. There is much that Christians can do now to get ready for the dawn. There is much, that is, for the disciple who wants to be ready for when Jesus does show Himself to them.
Perhaps we should not be too hasty to wish away our dark hours. Perhaps now would be a good time to examine our hearts. The darkness and the fruitless fishing may be just what we need to make some progress within our souls. We could use a little quiet time with our hearts. We could tune them to the Lord. We could start to cultivate an attitude of humble servitude. We could lose our pride. Then, when we have learned humility, when we have learned to hunger, He can call to us. We will want to hear His call. We will do anything He tells us to because nothing else will bring in the catch He has for us. We will be ready to listen to Him. We will be ready and waiting to throw the net wherever He wants us to.
As Your Light strengthens upon our scene prepare us to hear Your call. Prepare us through our darker moments so that when You do finally tell us to move we are glad to follow. Let the long night work its miracle for us and tune us to listening for You. Whatever You have in store for us, just help us to be willing and ready to throw out the net wherever You wish!