Casting the Nets

Luke 5:5-7 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. The disciples were weary. They had been fishing all night. Any mom probably has immediate flashbacks to those first nights (or months, if we’re being honest) of bringing your newborn home from the hospital. You were weary. You worked all night! And mothers of teenagers, you know those early helpless days come back anew, and your nights are full of waking hours of prayer and anxiety. Maybe the last time you fished it was at one of those ponds where the fish were essentially trained to hop themselves onto your pole for a tasty treat before being tossed back in. That was not the kind of water that the disciples were in. Instead Simon Peter and his team were battling rough seas, choppy waves, and empty nets. They were tired, frustrated and disheartened. In walks Jesus, casually throwing out the suggestion, “Hey, guys! Why don’t you just switch sides?” Can you think back to those early newborn days if, say, your mother-in-law had popped over and said, “Hey, you! How about you just hold that baby differently?” But because she’s your mother-in-law (wink wink), you’ll give it a go. The disciples did the same. “Uh huh, good thought, Jesus.” And suddenly they had a new problem on their hands. They weren’t battling empty nets anymore; they were fiercely wrestling in nets that were so full they were breaking! The Lord answered their despondent cries for abundance, yet the disciples were unprepared to handle the provision that came flooding their nets. Their physical needs were doing the begging, but their spiritual hearts weren’t ready for the answer. I had always prayed for a large family. Without these four children of mine, my nets would feel unbearably empty. But. In the midst of trying to parent a family full of teenagers and young adults, my nets feel like they’re breaking some days. As a wife, mother, and now a business owner, my employees and I are currently praying for nets full of opportunities and platforms for the Anne Neilson Home brand, and my focus is on making sure that the same diligence that is identifying the seeming emptiness of our nets is the same intense focus that is preparing us to haul in the abundance of the full nets promised to us. I am so thankful to know that the Lord who provides the nets will stock my supply. He will fortify my fibers. He will increase my capacity. He has called me to fish, and His pond is full and deep. Whether you’re a teacher shepherding a classroom of unruly students, a new employee praying for greater influence in your workplace, a stay-at-home mother trying to steward your flock well, or an empty nester trying to redefine your home, the Lord promises you provision if you simply cast your nets in His waters.