October 2, 2009
If You Say So
"Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets." Luke 5:5 (NIV)
Shortly after Jesus began His ministry, He sat down in Peter's boat and began teaching those on the shore. Finishing His lesson He told Peter to go back onto the lake and let down his fishing nets.
Peter had already worked all night. Discouraged and tired he didn't jump at the chance to sail back into deep waters. He was ready to quit.
Reading this story in Luke, I detect a bit of defiance. Do you, like me, sense some push back, a little attitude in Peter's response in our key verse? I do. I perceive it because it sounds like me!
If I don't feel like doing something or if I don't understand its purpose, I question the idea. I doubt the instruction. Especially if I have already gone down that path unsuccessfully. Why repeat it? Been there, tried that. I just want to give up and go home.
So when Peter had a rough go of it, working hard to bring home a night's wages and didn't succeed, he wasn't sure that repeating the action wouldn't change the outcome.
He questioned Jesus. Can you imagine?
"Master, we worked hard all last night and didn't catch a thing."
I can totally relate! In my words, "Master, I already tried that. It didn't work."
What was Peter thinking? Jesus doesn't know what he's talking about. After all he's no fisherman. Or, Jesus doesn't have a clue how tired we are! We've already put in an eight-hour shift.
There have been times I've felt Jesus' prompting: Be kind to her. I respond, "But Jesus, she ignores me." I hear Him whisper, Include her. I respond, "She wouldn't fit in." Invite her to join you . "Ok, if you say so." I finally obey.
I remember when I first heard, develop a ministry for Hispanic women. The words weren't the same as God's words to Peter but the meaning was the same: "Let down your nets again."
The thought overwhelmed me. I had attempted to reach out to my Latina sisters before. Teaching ESL, Bible, and parenting classes had at one time fit into my volunteer schedule. For one reason or another - cultural differences, changes in leadership, and family relocations - I had grown weary of working so hard to eventually experience empty nets.
"Been there. Tried that." But the Holy Spirit kept pressing and finally I replied, "OK. If you say so." That's when a member of the P31 team asked me to consider developing a ministry for Latinas.
I wondered how in the world I could provide devotions, speaking engagements, prayers, and resources for women from another culture in another language.
First Angela, a Colombian soccer player's wife, joined me. She attended She Speaks and began translating and writing devotions. She started a teaching ministry to Latinas.
Next Ana attended the writers' track at She Speaks and wrote devotions for our weekly publication.
Judith heard Lysa and Renee on the radio and she called the office. Soon after, she began to volunteer by translating our devotions into Spanish. After attending She Speaks, she stepped into a speaking ministry.
Then Laura e-mailed me asking if she could help the team by editing the devotions before we posted them.
Wendy also e-mailed asking if she could volunteer somewhere within Proverbs 31 Ministries.
Lupe called the office. She too offered to volunteer. She attended She Speaks and now writes and translates our Spanish devotions.
Have you felt that God has asked you to do something impossible, something you have already tried, and your efforts have left you exhausted? Are you ready to quit?
Let me encourage you to never give up. Always let your response be,
"Master, if You say so, I'll try again."
Jesus, forgive me for questioning You or Your plans. Continue to challenge me because I never want to miss the joy that comes when I experience a "full net." In Jesus' Name, Amen.
God's Purpose for Every Woman: A Compilation of Favorite P31 Devotions by various Encouragement for Today authors.
Click here to see the work Van and all of her Latina amigas have done!
Look around your immediate community. Is there a ministry waiting for you to step into or start? Has God called you to this work? What is stopping you from "letting down your nets?"
What is God asking me to do that I have resisted?
Am I willing to follow and obey Jesus?
Do I believe God wants to bless me through this?
Luke 5:11, "…they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him." (NIV)
Romans 10:14, "How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?" (NASB)
© 2009 by Van Walton. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105