Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret,
and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God.
Is there a hunger in you that presses to hear the word of life?
Give it permission. Let it move you.
He saw two boats there at the shore of the lake.
He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon,
and asked him to put out a little way from the shore.
Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.
How might God be asking to make use of your life?
In all your challenges, give thanks
that the Beloved is in the boat with you.
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon,
“Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”
Do you hear God inviting you to go deeper?
Where are those deep waters?
Simon answered, “Master, we have worked all night long
but have caught nothing.
Where do you experience discouragement, weariness, emptiness?
Imagine Jesus there. Imagine grace hidden there.
Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.”
Have you ever done anything purely because God asked you to?
Are you willing to?
What might God be asking to you do?
When they had done this,
they caught a great many fish.
Imagine that you were to receive what you long for.
Imagine it is already there, beneath your vision.
They caught so many fish their nets were beginning to break.
Are there ways your success weighs you down?
Do your possessions swamp you?
So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them.
You are not in this alone.
Who is with you?
And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink.
God's overabundant grace can ruin your old life.
Let it be so.
When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying,
“Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!”
Do the abundant riches of God's grace leave you feeling unworthy?
Do you sense the gap between God's grace and your living?
Rather than reject the grace, conform to it.
Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid;
from now on you will be catching people.”
This is not your work, but the work of God in you.
You are not the fisher; you are the bait.
Imagine what God can do through you.
When they had brought their boats to shore,
they left everything and followed him.
What do you need to let go of?
Remember you are not being sent off;
you are being invited to follow, to stay close.
—February 5, 2019