the deep

“Put out into deep water, and let down your nets for a catch.” Jesus said to Peter in Luke chapter 5. Our community group read this story last January and I could not get this particular verse out of my head. I knew the Lord was trying to tell me something. I prayed for several days trying to figure out which country I was supposed to go to. After all, the last time I felt Him pulling at my heart so clearly was when He called us to move up here from Texas to help plant the Commons. He finally said to me, “Stay here and build relationships.”

I said, “Lord, I think there has been a misunderstanding here. I am willing to go to Africa. Surely You need more people there!” I heard Him again telling me to stay here. Peter also argued with the Lord. He told Him, as if He didn’t already know, that he had been fishing all night and hadn’t caught anything. But he obeyed.

I began to work through some issues that I had going back to my childhood. I opened myself up to let the Lord heal some emotional wounds that I had been putting bandages over. These wounds caused me to self-protect when it came to relationships. I didn’t want to be close to anyone because loving deeply would only lead to hurting deeply. It seemed easier to me to stay on the surface to protect myself from such pain. But He was calling me into the deep. And I went.

Peter and his friends were astonished by what the Lord had done. Their nets began to break and two boats began to sink because of the large number of fish that they caught! Peter saw that Jesus had performed a miracle right there in front of them. He had made a promise to them and they saw it fulfilled.

And then the Lord said to Peter, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.” It puzzled me that Peter was scared. He was with Jesus! Why would he be scared? And then it hit me. What if in that moment, Peter realized Jesus was who He said He was and had come to do what He said He would do? He had just seen it with his own eyes! What if, in an instant, Peter realized He was going to follow Jesus, even if it cost him everything? What if he realized it was going to cost those he loved dearly something also? Perhaps he couldn’t bear the pain of breaking someone else’s heart so he could be obedient. I can only imagine that he weighed it all in his mind at that moment and Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid.”

So they pulled their boats up to shore, left everything and followed Him. Luke 5:11

Now, He is telling me “Go.” And it hurts. It hurts because I have loved you. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. There were times I almost sank and times I walked on water. I wouldn’t trade the deep for one moment on the shore.