It would be wonderful if every day started well. We’d awaken with a good night’s sleep under our belt. The sun would be shining, and we had enough energy to take on what the day’s agenda called for. A nutritious breakfast would taste better than our usual Danish and cream-laden coffee and that walk that always gets set aside actually happened. Little by little the items on our list for the day would get handled without a glitch and we’d be surprised how much was accomplished by lunch time.
Sound like an ideal day? The description would make it seem so.
We like to think days will start that way more often than they do or maybe even hope they might happen occasionally. But for most of us a day doesn’t sound much like this.
Most of us according to statistics don’t wake up refreshed because we didn’t get a good night’s sleep. Unless we live in certain places in the world being greeted by sunshine is only a 50-50 shot and no matter what we read about a nutritious breakfast, many of us skip eating or grab the nearest thing hoping it will wake us up.
As we drag ourselves up from a chair for another cup of coffee and notice the time, we decide that walk will need to wait for another day. We have a “to do list” that is already longer than the hours we have and besides, we would need to really get dressed to go outside for a walk or run.
Many of our days start from a far from ideal place and by afternoon our frustration can be simmering. It happens whether we are a stay at home or a person out on a job. This kind of day leaves us feeling empty and the frustration grows because the things that need to be done don’t go away because the day ends.
The truth is that most of us can identify with days like this. We don’t have lovely quiet times every day where we are clear on the Lord’s voice to us and feel assured of His design for the day.
As I was reading Luke 5:1-11, I was struck by the story of someone else who started his day with things not going very well. Peter as a well-respected and seasoned fisherman was used to having all sorts of days on the water with his nets. Some days the catch was good. Some days it was barely enough to provide for his family, but on the day in this passage he had worked hard all night and on this morning the nets were empty. Talk about a frustrating day of disappointment.
Peter knew all the best spots on the lake and best times to cast out his nets. He surely had other bad days, but this one may well have been one of the worst.
Now imagine your boat is already tied up and your boat was commandeered by Jesus to preach from and once He is done, He tells you to take the boat out again into deep water and put your nets out for a catch. You may have been listening to His message and one thing you are pretty sure of is that He is not a fisherman. So, you remind Him you were already working hard all night and the fish aren’t biting, but you agree to go out again and follow what He says to do.
Some of you know the story well.
This time the nets are so full of fish they are nearly breaking and Peter needs help to haul in the catch. What a turnabout in Peter’s day. Looks like quite a success, but Peter knows it’s not his success and falls on his knees and tells Jesus to leave because he’s a sinner and can’t handle the evidence of such holiness.
Peter has been humbled in a way that is clear to him – in the area of his gifts and calling – but Jesus has a new calling in mind. The haul of fish was amazing, but it was what spoke to Peter’s heart that made all the difference that morning.
As Eric and Kristen Hill write in The First Breakfast:
“Peter is brought to his knees in humility, not because this incredible gift has landed in his lap, but because his eyes are opened to the Giver that is standing in front of him with an open hand.”
Peter’s morning started as an exhausted, disheartened fisherman, but his day ends as one who is a convinced follower of Jesus accepting a new call to be a fisher of men with and for Him.
Our mornings may not start out the way we hope, but we (like Peter) need to have our eyes opened to see beyond what our natural eyes see when we crawl out of bed in the morning. That will make ALL the difference.
“To see who Jesus is and who we are in Him ushers in a necessary brokenness that helps us to see everything more clearly.”
Eric and Kristen Hill