Ever feel like you have so much on your plate that you are about to go crazy? I'm there. Not crazy (I keep reassuring myself) but crazy busy. Tonight when I got home I reflected on my hectic day and instantly ran to the Lord in His Word so I could bounce the last 15 hours I've been busy with ministry on Him. I thought of Luke 5 where the disciples had a huge problem - they had fished all night and their nets were empty. Talk about disappointment and frustration. Busy, busy, busy, but no fruit to show for it. Honestly, I think I'm in the same boat (no pun intended) sometimes.
But then I remember that today I tried extremely hard to put Jesus first in everything I did. I started my day in Him, asked for His help numerous times, cried out for wisdom very vividly once, and remembered the disciples didn't spin their wheels forever. The Lord showed up and instructed them and they caught what they geared up and said they wanted.
Luke 5:6-11, says they followed Jesus’ instruction to put out their nets again. They didn't give up in the middle of frustration and discouragement. They soon faced a different problem - their nets were so full, they started to break and their boat began to sink.
Ever find yourself in overwhelming situations? In those times it is easy to let a bad attitude creep in. You can start to feel sorry for yourself, and even get a "who cares anymore" attitude. It can stress you out!
Tonight I cried out to the Lord, "Lord, I am stretched, busy, and in need of You. My nets are breaking!" Vividly I heard his reply, "Be thankful your nets are full with the right stuff. Breaking nets are a sign of blessing." I had forgotten that living a life entrenched in the mess and chaos of ministry was actually a blessing! A lot of victories happened today. A few people were helped and changed today as I met with them. I got the opportunity to share Christ today.
Loaded? Yes. But loaded with the right things. Breaking? Yes, but what joy it is to be busting at the seams instead of coming up empty all night long! I've been fishing before when we caught absolutely nothing. That's no fun. But when you get that bite, and then another, and then another, what a rush! I'm sure the disciples' night of seeming failure was quickly forgotten when their nets exploded with more fish than they could ever imagine. No one complained that day. No one threw any fish back. They rejoiced in breaking nets and a sinking boat.
Simon (later renamed Peter) continued to fish at the Lord's request. He said he did it "because You (Jesus) say so." Why do I continue to do ministry even when nets break and boats begin to sink? Because He said so.
What we complain about sometimes is what others would give anything for. Whether it's a hectic ministry schedule, a full family life, a growing business blessed by the Lord, or whatever, be glad your nets are breaking from blessing and not rotting from being empty.
I'm sure the disciples strained and worked hard to pull in all those fish. Wouldn't you be tired after staying up all night fishing with no action! But straining to pull in a heavy load hands down beats catching nothing at all!
Be thankful for your breaking nets. Why? Because the Lord showed you where to fish - His Holy Honey Hole! And His burden is easy when kept in this perspective.
I'd rather be loaded with the blessing of breaking nets than wandering aimlessly, bored, with nothing to do for His Kingdom. Bring on the fish! How can I get in the boat, put on the fishing gear, and complain about catching fish? I know He'll never put more on me than I can bear. Glad I'm not in this alone but have other disciples ready to help bring in the catch. When the nets are full and the boat is loaded we have to signal to our partners in ministry to join in the catch of a lifetime. I'm thankful for breaking nets and overloaded boats.