Sunday, May 5, 2013

When what He asks is hard...

Simon Barjonas, who would later be known as Peter, along with with brother Andrew, were fishermen by trade. Day in and day out they would toil together in the Sea of Galilee, throwing out their nets into the water and pulling back whatever they could. Sometimes they had good days. Other days weren't so good. This particular story happened right after one of the less lucrative nights of labor.

These fishermen, in order to get the best catch, would work during the night from dusk until dawn, so I imagine that it was sometime in the morning when Jesus of Nazareth came over to their boats at Galilee.

"And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And...he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught [catch or haul.]

"And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing." (Luke 5:3-5)

Simon was a professional, and he knew when the fish just weren't biting. Most likely he already had a very solid friendship and admiration for Jesus by this time, but still, what did He know about fishing?

If they had to launch off again from the shore, that means that their shift was done. The nets were being cleaned, they were exhausted and frustrated, and they were ready to go home. Letting down the nets again surely meant yet another empty net in return, plus all the cleaning that they would have to do all over again.

Before we continue, I'd like to tell a story that was told to me by one of my mentors and teachers several years back by the name of Blake Rogers. It's a story that explains the personality and intentions of an all-knowing, loving Savior. It's a story of a little girl whose favorite possession in the whole world was a toy necklace of plastic pearls. One day her father came in and asked her if she loved him.

"Yes, Daddy," she replied, smiling. "Very much!"

"Then will you give me your pearl necklace?"

The little girl's face dropped. She didn't understad why her dad would ask such a thing, and she recoiled, clutching her precious necklace. Her dad just smiled with understanding and left her to her playing.

For the next several days this scene was repeated, each time the daughter acknowledging her love for her father, but was each time unwilling to give up the necklace. Then, one night, her dad came into her room again.

"Sweetie," he said, kneeling beside her, "do you love me?"

"Yes, Daddy," she said. "Very much."

"And do you know that I would never do anything to hurt you, and that I want to you to be happy more than anything?"

"Yes, Daddy," replied his daughter, recognizing the question that was coming.

"Then will you give me your pearl necklace?"

Hesitantly, the little girl took off her necklace of plastic pearls and, with tears in her eyes, surrendered it to her father. But upon putting the toy in his pocket, Daddy immediately pulled out a gift for her: necklace of fine, genuine pearls.

"And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.

"And when they had done this, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake." (Luke 5:5-6)

Ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.
(Ether 12:6)

And prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the 
window of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall 
not be room enough to receive it.
(Malachi 3:10, emphasis added)

Pictures from:

1 comment:

  1. Definitely needed to read this tonight. Thanks for sharing this!

    -Jenny Cooper