Simon answered, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.” Luke 5:5
“Seriously?!!!” I texted my teen back. “You left your clarinet at home again? Sorry. But I’m not bringing it to you at school this time.”
We’ve all had this conversation with our kids a million times – just substitute whatever your recurring issues are, and the venue, be it in person, on the phone, or via text. It’s the most exasperating thing to have spent years and years and years teaching our kids certain things, to find out they go in one ear and out the other. It’s like the movie “Ground Hog Day” where the same story line plays out over and over again. We eventually hit a wall, and can’t muster the energy to repeat ourselves one more time.
These are the days we just want to wave the white flag of motherhood, and walk away from the battle forever.
You have to imagine Simon Peter and the disciples felt the same way in Luke 5:5. All night long, in the dark, they threw out their nets over and over and over again. Each time they pulled them back in to find absolutely nothing.
This was their livelihood. The ramifications were dire. Empty nets meant nothing to feed their families. Empty nets meant nothing to sell at the market to buy the other provisions they needed to survive.
Yet, after being up all night, working endlessly with nothing to show for it, Jesus commands Peter to throw out his net one more time. I give Peter so much credit for trusting Jesus, for having the faith to go against what his long night has proven to him. He knows there are NO fish to be caught; but he casts out his net anyway.
That’s the real victory in this Scripture story: Not that Peter’s net was filled to overflowing when he obeyed. But that he listened to Jesus when every instinct he had cried out not to.
What we sometimes miss is Peter didn’t fill his net with fish; Jesus did. Peter just trusted enough to throw his net out again.
That’s the message we moms need to take away. When we’re feeling defeated, exhausted from all the repetition that seems to be falling on deaf ears, and we’re convinced deep in our bones that what we’re doing is having absolutely no impact, we have to trust and throw out our nets again. We have to get up tomorrow, and the next day, and impart the lessons we know our kids need to learn. Then we need to leave the rest up to Jesus.
Questions for Reflection:
* Do I grow weary from all the repetition in motherhood, feeling as if it’s falling on deaf ears?
* Do I trust that if I just keep casting out my net, Jesus will fill my kids in all the ways they need to be filled?
While not a mother, dear Claire, I apply your powerful reflections here to myself, and what Jesus calls me each day to believe, to trust and to do as His faithful follower, but how on some days I’m tempted to give up, not cast my net and give in to thinking I’m just beating the air and catching nothing. We cannot be reminded enough that at such challenging times which we all experience on our earthly journeys, we must cling to Jesus’ requests and promises all the more, cast our nets out again in total faith and trust in our Loving Savior, waiting with peace and joy on His promises. My deepest gratitude again to you for giving me this opportunity to reflect on the Peter/Jesus/Fishing story and how I can apply it to my spiritual journey.
You make a wonderful point, Jackie! It’s not just in motherhood that we have to keep casting out our nets: It’s in everything that God is calling us to do! Thank you for that wonderful jewel of insight! And, as always, thank you for being such a faithful reader and for always commenting. It means so very much to me!