A week ago I found myself sitting on a boat in the middle of the Sea of Galilee. I can still remember that experience vividly. There was a small breeze that made the waters crash against the boat softly. The sun was causing a rainbow like glare over the water. The mountains all around got brighter and brighter as the sun continued to rise. And perhaps most memorable, was that fishermen began to come out to the shores and on their boats to go fishing.
I was reminded of this text:
After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, you have no fish, have you?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea. (John 21:1-7)
As we sat on that boat I could picture the frustration the disciples may have felt as they fished all night and could not catch anything. Was their ego deflated? Afterall, many of them were great fishermen before, so why could they not catch fish anymore? How many times did they check their nets wondering if they were full of holes? Were they quickly losing confidence in their ability? Were they about ready to give up?
I think many of us can relate to their experience when it comes to many of our life experiences. There are times when we are suddenly not happy at our jobs anymore. When suddenly it feels like our relationships are falling apart. When it feels like our hobbies bring us no joy. When it feels like we have lost our ability to be good at everything we used to be good at. The sudden sense of inadequacy when we go through these moments can be overwhelming.
I didn’t need to be on the boat to relate to that pain. We have all been there. But being on that boat in the middle of the Sea of Galilee did help me see this scripture unfold in a way I had never seen before.
You see, when we go through difficult seasons like that, it is easy for us to assume that maybe our tools are no longer useful, or that the relationship no longer works, or that we are going to be perpetually miserable at work, or that we are doing something wrong.
But think about it. The disciples did not have a bad net, they did not have a poor boat, they did not have to go find a new spot to fish. They had to do one simple thing to get back into their groove: trust Jesus’ vision.
The disciples had all the tools and resources that they needed to catch fish that night. But it was not until they were willing to stop fishing their way and instead listen to the direction Jesus was giving them.
If you are going through a rut in your marriage, begin praying for it asking Jesus for direction. If you are going through a difficult time at work, spend time reading your bible seeking for Jesus’ direction in your life. If, like the disciples who couldn’t catch anything all night, you feel like you are in a funk and can’t figure out what is going on, seek Jesus’ voice.
Sometimes you have all the tools you need, you just need to allow Jesus to redirect you.
Together on the journey,