If you’re a commercial fisherman, there’s nothing worse than a ‘water haul.’ It’s easy but not fun. You make the set and pull in the gear. Nothing. Just water. It’s disheartening. Peter “worked hard all night” and caught nothing. Maybe he wasn’t cut out to be a fisherman. He might as well hang up his gear, turn in his license, and sell the boat.
Have you ever feel unproductive like Peter? Jesus offered Peter a solution... go into “deep water.” Get in over your head. Go to the place where you must depend upon Him to succeed. Take a risk. Have some faith. There’s no fish in the shallow end of the lake. Go deep.
If you’re a commercial fisherman on a purse seiner in Alaska, there’s nothing better than ‘brailing.’ You make a set and pull in the gear. A full net! In fact, the net’s so full you’ll burst the seine, split the mast, or topple the boat if you depend on the winch and power block to hoist it aboard. Grab the brailing nets and start scooping the flopping, slimy critters by hand. It’s the hardest work you’ll ever do, but it’s so much fun! The jelly fish are stinging your face. You are spattered with fish blood. The rain’s falling hard. The boat’s rocking in a choppy sea. Your back is aching and you may be vomiting. But you and crew are laughing and hollering… you’re making money!
Jesus' first disciples were commercial fishermen to whom He issued a command, “Come, follow Me... and I will send you out to fish for people” (Mark 1.17). His final mandate to the band of eleven disciples was, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16.15). Those of us involved in 423 Communities are called by Jesus in a similar way... to spread the gospel of sexual sobriety to every dark corner of the globe. There are fish to be caught; that is, men and women to be set free from the bondage of sexual addiction. We must go deep!
I hope never to make another ‘water haul’ in my business or ministry or life. I’d rather “sink” in the “deep water” with Jesus by my side and a ‘brailing net’ in my hand.