Once upon a time, in my former life, I lived in
Virginia and a favorite weekend hangout was . Beachwear clad patrons would lazily stroll the sandy streets and sidewalks visiting the surf shops and sipped cool drinks with umbrellas stinking out the top of their glasses at outdoor cafes. I was in the Army at the time so I knew my stay in Virginia Beach was only temporary, but one day, I would think to myself, I am going to make a place like this my home. These days I find myself in a snowy little suburb of Virginia with an ocean no where in sight. Wisconsin
One thing I regret not doing while I was there was go scuba diving, I wanted to do it, had many an opportunity to do it, but I just never did it. I mean what happens if my oxygen gives out or a shark attacks me, no thank you, that was not really how I wanted to die, so I stayed safely on the deck of the boat baking my skin, enjoying the deep blue sea from the surface. In my opinion it was quite beautiful there, calm and safe from where I was sitting, I was very content up there. One by one my friends would make their way to the surface excitedly talking about what they saw down under, yes, they agreed it was beautiful from where I was safely standing, but it was majestic in the place they had just came from, and the further down they went the more majestic it became, I have to admit I felt a twinge, ok so I was totally jealous that my fears kept me from experiencing what they experienced, I wanted to see too, but I wanted to see while standing on the deck of a boat, I didn’t want to risk ending up in the belly of a fish, um Jonah anyone? Or rely on a tank strapped to my back for every breath I would take.
Standing on the surface is not a bad place to be, it is a good place to start, but there is going to come a time when we will have to decide, are we going to go deeper? Do we thirst to see the majesty of what God has to offer more than we thirst for the beauty of a calm, safe comfortable life?
In Luke 5, we find Simon on the shores of
, washing his nets, he is tired and I am sure a little disillusioned, he had been fishing all night and hadn’t caught a single thing. This is when Jesus approaches, getting into Simon's boat Jesus teaches the people for a while before telling Simon to push out into deeper water. That is probably the last thing Simon wanted to do, after fishing all night he probably just wanted to go find a quiet place and get some shut eye. Lake of Gennesaret
In Luke 5:5 Simon answers Jesus “Master, we’ve work hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.
This time Simon caught so many fish the nets began to break and it took two boats to haul their catch back to shore and even then the boats were so full they began to sink.
Several things jump out at me in this story.
Even though Simon was tired from fishing all night, he was obedient and trusted when Jesus told him to try again and this time in deeper water.
It was when Simon went into deeper water that he sees a miracle from Jesus. It paints a picture of the power of Jesus and the reality of going deeper.
I am reminded of John 15:5
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
Jesus is our oxygen tank when we dive into those deeper waters. Sharks will probably attack, after all deeper waters in the last place the enemy wants you. Our fears can keep us living comfortably and safely on the surface, but it is when we go deeper that we see the miracles and majesty of Jesus.