yby: carole l. haines
There are two Scriptures listed below, one is at the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry and one is at the very end. They both include the same disciple, Peter. They both involve catching a great number of fish. I find it incredibly interesting that the same miracle God used in Peter’s life to call him into ministry, He used again when Peter was dazed, lost, and confused. He felt like a failure, I mean he had denied Jesus three times, and with cursing to boot. But Jesus went back to the beginning with Peter, back to where it all began. And I believe He does that with us. Perhaps we have really messed up in our ministry and taken a wrong turn. Or perhaps we messed up within our family, or our job somehow. Maybe it’s a broken relationship with a friend, We feel our life is irredeemable; somehow, we think we just messed up too much. So we live out a kind of half-life, giving up on our original calls from God. This is where I stand in a part of my life. Yet, that gentle nudge from the Spirit is right there inside of me, pulling me back in. “What if I mess it up again, Lord? People just think I am such a ____________.” Day to Day we feel that nudge, but we are scared of what others think. Someone at my church was sharing this past week, and talked about “taking the limits off,” of what we allow God to do in our lives. I immediately knew God was talking to me. Some limits, we place on ourselves, others are placed upon us by people we have failed in front of. They may lose faith in us, but God never does. Jesus is called, The Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. So, if you find yourself living a half-life due to some failure in the past, read the Scriptures below as encouragement. God is calling you and I back to the beginning, back to where it all began, back to Himself. Walk with me back to Him, and let Him take off those limits. Yes, you failed, and I failed. But God is greater than our failures, and desires to restore and work through us fully.
God, I give you all of my life, even this part where I really messed up. Take it, take me; and bring great glory to yourself. Even use my failure to show others that You are a God who redeems, restores, and makes us whole.
Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around Him and listening to the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret; 2 and He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake; but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. 3 And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little way from the land. And He sat down and began teaching the people from the boat. 4 When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.” 6 When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; 7 so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!” 9 For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men.” 11 When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him. (Luke 5:1-11 NASB)
4 But when the day was now breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 So Jesus *said to them, “Children, you do not have any fish, do you?” They answered Him, “No.” 6 And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat and you will find a catch.” So they cast, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish. 7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved *said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on (for he was stripped for work), and threw himself into the sea. 8 But the other disciples came in the little boat, for they were not far from the land, but about one hundred yards away, dragging the net full of fish. (John 21:4-8 NASB)