“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, and He saw two boats lying on the edge of the lake; but the fisherman had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. 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.” Luke 5:1-3
I was listening to one of my favorite Bible teachers Priscilla Shirer when she said something profound that struck a chord with me. As a mother of only one child who has flown the coop and a woman who wants to serve Jesus with all my heart, I have felt useless for the kingdom of Christ these last few months-no, not months, but years. Every time I have tried to use my platform to serve Christ, whether it be at church or work, I have come up with “empty nets” just like Simon-Peter in the verses above. Feeling his efforts were useless, he got out of the boat after fishing all night and catching nothing. Leaving the boat and washing his nets, signified he was done with this particular fishing trip.
Just as Simon got out of the boat, Jesus stepped in.
Simon Peter’s boat was just the perfect place for Jesus to sit and preach to the crowds that were pressing in to hear him. Priscilla noted that this may very well be the reason Jesus did not allow Simon to catch any fish, because if he had, then there would have been no room for Jesus in Simon’s boat.
Sometimes in his sovereignty, Jesus allows the “boat deck” of our life- the platform of our life to be empty of what we want to fill it with because Jesus needs a place to do his work! When we fill it with our stuff, there’s no room for His stuff.
Priscilla then went on to say that like Paul, this should excite us, because when we are weak, then Jesus’ power rests on us and we become strong in Him (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
Have you ever worked hard in serving the Lord, thinking like me that you were using your gifts for his glory, only to realize your efforts appeared useless?
Don’t show up to the pity party that Satan has planned for you. Rest in knowing that Jesus is working in you and through you, weaknesses and all. Sometimes we have to step aside with all our own efforts and let Jesus do what only He can do.