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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Monday, February 15

Jesus said, "Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch." Simon answered, "Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets."
—Luke 5:4b-5

I once heard a sermon about this text that was so meaningful I was moved to tears. The preacher spoke about how tired and discouraged we get from working on things that never seem to change, whether the things have to do with ourselves, our circumstances, or other people. We pray for a healing, or a better job, improvement in our marriage, or changes in our children, but nothing happens. Finally we lose heart and stop trying.

Then, seemingly out of nowhere, we are nudged to try something new, like Simon, who is told by Jesus to move out into deeper water and put down his nets in a different place. Simon, undoubtedly by the grace of God, decides to listen to that voice, and to obey it. He does, and catches an unimaginable number of fish.

As the preacher spoke, I thought about how we so often get discouraged and quit: we quit praying, quit trying, and quit hoping for anything different. "But God makes all things new," the preacher insisted. "God calls us to go deeper, to try a new way, and unbelievable things happen."

I remembered times when I had experienced this kind of miraculous change in my life, and seen it in others’ lives as well. These changes rarely came in the form I had expected or asked for. They most often came when I admitted that my ways, even my prayers, were not working, and when I relinquished what I thought was my control of people or situations.

"God makes all things new," the preacher repeated. Looking around me, I saw that other people were on the verge of tears, too. It was as if we all needed the encouragement to move deeper into unexplored water, to let down our nets in new places, and then to trust in God’s miraculous, mysterious abundance to surprise us, and to make all things new.

Gracious God, giver of every good and perfect gift, give us the grace to ask what you would have us do, and the wisdom and will to obey your call. Amen.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2007.