The word Miracle needs to be domesticated. We seem to reserve it for the things that are unexplainable as opposed to moments were divinity and humanity intersect. Shane Claiborne says it best, ‘believe in Miracles, and live in a way that necessitates one’.
Take the beautiful morning by the sea of Galilee, where Jesus is talking to the crowds that have gathered. Washing their nets by the shore are some weary fisherman who worked the midnight shift and came up empty. Jesus gets in one of their boats and sits down and continues to talk to the crowd. When he is finished he suggests the fisherman take the boat out to the deep and try one more time. The fisherman objects then politely concedes to this idea. Out they go, and the catch is phenomenal. But what was the miracle?
Often this story is referred to as the miracle catch of fish. but I want to suggest that the bigger miracle isn’t the size of the haul. As I enter this story and find myself tired, discouraged and most likely a little annoyed. The bigger miracle for me isn’t the full nets but that the boys found the steam to go back out and try one more time.
If Jesus wanted to do a miracle just for the sensationalism, he could have filled the nets in the shallow. A miracle is a miracle, it doesn’t matter how deep the water is. Instead he tells them to go out to the deep. Basically he is telling them to go were the fish are. They were their all night. But something is different this morning. It is the light of a new day. Sometimes I think that is all we need-the light of a new day. This passage found in Luke 5 is a great example of this very principle. I have read this a thousand times, but never understood it like this, until I read it last week at the end of a busy day, tired, and discouraged.
I am inspired by this encounter. I have come to understand that on days when I don’t feel like continuing on a path I have chosen, to rest and give it the light of a new day. The perspective of a friend, the counsel of the wise, the caffeine of a dopio espresso. Sometimes after a long hard night, I look around and find Jesus by the shores of my life suggesting I try one more time.
I wonder how easy it would have been to just have said no to Jesus’ suggestion.
As I look at the situation however I realize the risk was low.
It might take them ten minutes to row out to the deep, drop the nets and they could be back scrubbing again on the proper side of 30 minutes
I imagine how easy it would have been to say no.
There have been many times I have said no to what I have come to understand as God’s suggestion to push out into the deep one more time. When I have said no, it wasn’t because the risk was too high, it was because I was too tired. Too sick and tired. How many great things have we missed while we sit at home having a pity party while watching TV. Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand that there are times to hang up the towel and walk away, but this is were faith comes in….to know the difference.
I think it would be a stretch to assume that all the fisherman were on the same page, I bet Peter had to convince the others to get involved. As I ponder that, I am so glad for community, for friendships, for those who encourage me to go back out into the deep and try again-God bless you Oprah, and Disney.
Maybe this is your narrative. Maybe you are the person that will encourage someone else to go back out and try one more time. Maybe you realize most of what God asks us to do requires little risk-just time, yet we risk so much by saying no.
your expecting God to just do a miracle
and you have failed to realize, you are the miracle.