The beginning of Luke Chapter 5, it tells of a night that Peter and his partners had fishing. They had spent the entire night toiling, working and possibly praying for their nets to fill…to no avail. When the morning came, their nets were empty. I imagine they were disheartened, wondering what they would tell their families.
On this particular morning Jesus Christ came to the shore where they were cleaning their nets. I am sure they were doing what needed to be done so that they could be done and move on. He asked Peter to take Him out from the shore, so he could teach those that were following Him that day. The sermon was not one that was recorded in Luke…the most important part of the story came after the Savior finished teaching the masses. He turned to this ‘one’ and told him to go out further so he could let down his nets one more time.
And Simon (Peter) answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. (vs 5)
The results were nothing short of a miracle. The nets were so full that the net broke and Peter had to call for his partners to come and help them. When they came, both ships were full, so full they began to sink.
After a night of seemingly empty toiling, Peter’s faith in the Master filled his ships.
This story struck my heart as I read it.
There are times in life when it feels like an endless night of empty toiling, when all of our efforts seem to produce nothing but an empty net. Prayers that are offered feel like they have gone unheard. Feelings we may have of where to search produce little, if nothing at all. We search for the sliver of dawn that will allow us to bring the ship to shore, so that we can at least find some sort of footing, ritual in cleaning our nets.
Yet, as in the case of Peter, this long night prepares us for when the Master comes.
If our nights are not so empty, watchful and difficult, our hearts will not be seeking Him. If we have given up and left our boats on the shore, nets unclean, we will not see Him come. If we have allowed our hearts to give up, we will not feel of His love.
The nights are long, but not meaningless.
There are miracles that can only come to pass with Him. There are miracles that we can only see when we have softened our hearts. There are miracles that need to follow the toiling. There are miracles that will save us.
I pray that my toiling will be acceptable to Him….that I will be able to see Him. I miss Him sometimes and long for the time when He comes to the shore and turns His eyes and heart to me. I know He seeks after the ‘one’…I need to remember that I am a ‘one’ that He would seek after.
For now I need to continue taking care of my boat and nets…keeping them strong and clean. Toiling.
He will come…..I know He will.