One of the treats of traveling to India was that I got to spend time with two of my sweet friends from the Proverbs 31 team, Lynn Cowell and Suzie Eller. While there, Suzie delivered a message from her new book Come with Me that is sticking around in my heart and messing with me in the most beautiful way.
Today, Suzie is my guest blogger, and she’s sharing the same message with you. Please soak up, be challenged, and leave your comment at the end to enter to win a copy of her fabulous book.
I had my Bible in my hand. My purse nearby. A car would soon take me to the airport.
It was time to go, except I knew the Lord wanted me to share one more thing.
People were still sitting in their seats and talking. The Holy Spirit had sweetly swept over the meetings and people lingered. I walked to the microphone, knowing the words I would say before I spoke them.
I had read them in the book of Luke earlier that week.
One more time.
Those were the words.
Throw out your nets one more time.
When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.” Luke 5:4-5 (NIV)
Simon was exhausted. Casting the heavy nets into the water, and lugging them back in over and over was a chore. When the nets came back empty every time, it was disappointing.
But he did it.
He took the clean nets and pushed out into the deep and he let them down. Fish scrambled into the nets so quickly that it nearly capsized his boat.
I love that story, but as I stood in front of those women I understood what “one more time” might mean to them.
Pray one more time over that hurting marriage or relationship.
Believe one more time for that prodigal child.
Take one more step even though it seems to lead to nowhere.
Plant one more seed in that dream that seems futile.
flesh rebelled against asking women – women of faith who had been casting their nets over and over again – to try one more time when so far, they had little to show for it.
But God said it. . . and He knew them far better than I did.
I whispered yes where no wanted to take root.
I asked them for a few moments and I told them the story of Simon Peter. I shared how weary he was and how all that he wanted to do was to climb into his comfortable bed and forget about the night behind him.
I told them Jesus understood that Simon was tired. That the nets were heavy. That it was discouraging.
I told them that Jesus saw under the water line.
He saw what Simon Peter couldn’t, and it wasn’t just fish.
It was the deep.
Let’s go back to that verse in Luke 5:4-5.
When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”
Jesus could have performed the same miracle in the shallow. He could have asked them to lay their nets on the shore and invite the fish to swim into the nets.
Instead the invitation was to push into the deep.
In the deep it’s a partnership. We put our hands on the rugged boat and push out.
We take a step out and God takes a step in as He meets us.
For Simon, the miracle wasn’t the catch of fish but that he became a “catcher of men.
That’s the transformation that takes place inside of us as we push into the deep.
One more time.
We are asked to push out into the deep one more time in our calling or ministries.
We may want to throw our hands up and give up. But let’s throw our hands up in surrender instead. If our ministry is about Him, it’s not about how much we “catch” or how long it takes, but “one more time” is watching God work in the thousands — or the one.
We are asked to push out into the deep in personal issues that seem like they’ll never change.
It’s scary when the past or an addiction or temptation or feelings bullies us.
It’s in the deep that we realize that he’s not going to let us sink. “One more time” means that He’ll pull us up, over and over again until we no longer feel that the deep is over our head.
And this is the miracle. We turn around and start pulling others up with His help, because we get it. We know how hard it is, but we also know what it is to be free.
We are asked to push out into the deep one more time in our faith.
There’s not one believer that hasn’t experienced a time when it felt like God was a million miles away, or when they had doubts or hard questions.
You may think you are the only one, but we’ve all been there.
It’s in the deep that we discover that he’s not angry at our doubts or questions. He’s not mad at us because we are in a low season of our faith.
“One more time” is a reminder that He knows exactly who He is. We’ve somehow been led to believe that faith is never wavering, never doubting, or never hitting a low season, when instead the fact that you reach for God in the midst of that describes faith beautifully.
Our doubts or anger or questions are welcomed as He reveals his Character in that low season. He walks with us until we reach the other side.
One more time.
That’s our invitation.
Will you say yes?
Let’s accept the invitation from our Savior to discover what’s waiting under the water line, just for us.
Suzie is a Proverbs 31 Ministries writer, ECPA bestselling author and blogger. She’s been featured on Focus on the Family, Aspiring Women, Harvest Show, 100 Huntley Street, KLOVE, Daystar and numerous other programs. Suzie is a regular contributor to KLRC radio’s Words that Make a Positive Difference.
She is an author of eight books including her most recent, Come With Me: Discovering the Beauty of Following Where He Leads.When she’s not writing, you can find Suzie playing with her six grandbabies, all under the age of five. Find out more about Suzie and Come With Me: Discovering the Beauty of Following Where He Leads at www.tsuzanneeller.com