The morning was the color of day-old ashes and I was mired in a dreary funk. Ever been there? Wondering how a provision for a need will arise? Wrestling with an unsolvable problem? Decoding a difficult relationship? Not knowing what steps to take?
I headed into the woods to leave the distractions behind. There is a peace in the sounds of nature, designed in by an all-knowing Creator, and I listened quietly beside a gurgling stream. God speaks when I am still, not when I am thrashing around in waves of worry.
A large fish swimming below the rock was joined by several smaller friends, swirling and gliding. I watched till a passing shadow, cast by the big fish in that little pond, caught my eye. He had to be 2 feet long, swimming without a care in the world and enjoying his morning rounds.
My mind locked onto an old song and I began to hum aloud. The first line is “Peter, James, and John went fishing” and the crucial teaching comes as Jesus, walking on the seashore, instructs the men to “cast your nets on the other side.” The song ends with the testimony they “brought in boat loads full of fishes.”
Before meeting Jesus, Peter, James, and John made their living as fishermen. They knew the correct bait to use, how to position the boat, and when to draw in the net. But they were in a dry spell that night. Not a nibble. Nothing they tried worked. It is not practical to be a fisherman without the fish.
As I sat in my wooded cathedral, the message became clear – God knows where the fish are. A heron frequents that very pond to dine on fresh fish filet. God knows about the bird’s need for regular meals, and God supplies.
Sometimes we are forced outside our comfort zone, the treasure box of experiences we cling to. Jesus had plans for Peter, plans that involved fishing in a new way for a new catch. The journey started with Peter’s willingness to obey, and move the net to the other side. That’s a step of faith, requiring us to admit we don’t have all the answers but demonstrating we are willing to follow God’s leading.
Is God calling us to a change? Does He want us to try a new technique, a new location, or a new career? We can obey His call with the confidence He knows where the fish are, and He will provide what we need.
Copyright © 2013, John W. Nichols. All rights reserved.