“When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, ‘Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.’ But Simon answered and said to Him, ‘Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.'”
I love these scriptures about Simon because we learn two things:
1. He had toiled all night and caught nothing.
2. He chose not to give up, but to go ahead and push a little more.
God has called each of us. No matter what our specific gifts are or what areas we may specialize in, we are all called. And sometimes when we work, the results that we wish to see don’t come soon enough. And sometimes they don’t come at all.
That’s when we tend to give up. Admit it, you’ve been there. I’ve been there. We’ve all been there. But I wanted to share these scriptures with you today to encourage to stay away from there! To encourage you in the fact that giving up is not an option, because the breakthrough is probably about to walk right into the boat with you!
See, Simon and the others had been working all night. They hadn’t just worked, they toiled. Let’s stop for a moment and look at how dictionary.com defines the word ‘toil.’
1. hard and continuous work; exhausting labor or effort.
2. a laborious task.
3. Archaic. battle; strife; struggle.
verb (used without object)
4. to engage in hard and continuous work; labor arduously: to toil in the fields.
5. to move or travel with difficulty, weariness, or pain.
By definition, it sure seems like it was a long and exhausting night! I’m sure they were at least ready for a break, if not ready to just call it quits. In fact, in previous scriptures, we read that they were already cleaning their nets. But that’s when Jesus showed up. He joins the crew and they head a little ways from shore so that He can preach to a crowd that has gathered. When the preaching was over, I highly doubt Simon expected what was next on the Lord’s agenda.
As Jesus told them to let down their nets, part of Simon’s reply was (paraphrasing), “But Lord, we’ve been at it out here all night and haven’t caught a thing!” I know we can relate. He probably wanted to add an, “Are you crazy??” and thought better of it. There have been times I’ve thought better of it and asked Him anyway! I know I’m not alone in this! 🙂
My favorite part, however, was when Simon went on to say, “Nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.”
Why didn’t Simon go ahead and give up? Because Simon knew that this time when he let down the net, things would be different. Why would things be different? Because Simon knew that this time the Lord was on the scene. When the Lord shows up, we can be sure to expect a different kind of result.
“And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.”
It was at this point I believe the whole crew was shouting and rejoicing. It was at this point I believe Simon was thankful he had the wisdom to use a “nevertheless.” It was at this point I believe Jesus sat back watching with a smile that said, “See what happens when you press? See what happens when you trust me?”
A lot of times we tend to give up too early. We tend to give up right before God steps into the boat. Simon did get to take a break…..a break where he got to sit in the boat alongside Jesus, and listen to the Word come forth. He may have had an arduous night with disappointing results, but he spent a little time with the Lord and then tried again.
Do not give up. Do not throw in the towel. Wait on the Lord. You’re nevertheless miracle is already on the way!