Wednesday, November 30, 2011

When Your Nets Are Breaking and Your Boat Is Sinking

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.


  1. Lately, my wife and I have been overwhelmed (okay, well, maybe I have been overwhelmed) with the weight of our load. We have been providing a donation only childcare for a while, but when you throw in a hurting family on top of that, mix in work and a sprinkle of other things. You have one big load! My breaking point was the other day over a minor issue. A couple that we are trying to help asked if we had any extra roll of toilet paper, and we did. However, this was the last roll. About an hour later, the paper was needed and I forgot that we gave the last roll away. As I sat there I became a bit angry because of all the sacrifices we have made down to the last roll of toilet paper. I couldn't help but to say, "God I have given everything I have down to the last roll of toilet paper. What about me?!" I became selfish and forgot about HIS purpose. I had to humble myself a realize this is for HIM and not for me. I am glad to know that my nets are full and I am not alone. I am honored to have given the last roll of toilet paper away and now I am willing to give the next last roll away.. Oh, I guess I should include there were babywipes there that day, thankfully!

  2. Wow! Thanks Gary for being obedient. That reminded me of the widow in 1 Kings 17 who prepared her last meal for Elijah the prophet.When we sow into God's work, He multiplies it back. But guess who gets the harvest? We do! Elijah didn't need the widow to feed him. The Lord had already commanded ravens to bring him bread and meat twice a day (I Kings 17:6). He went to the widow, not to take her last meal, but so God could multiply it and sustain her until the rains came. It was God's plan for the widow to give to Him first and trust Him for her needs to be met. This worked for her and will for us as well.