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Gone Fishing! “Simon Peter said to them, ‘I am going fishing.’ They said to him, ‘We are going with you also.’ They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing. John 21:3 Wondering what was next, seven disciples gathered by the Sea of Tiberias after the resurrection. The water and the fish called out to Peter. Was it a welcoming invitation or a taunting threat? So much had happened since he last went fishing. He was a good fisherman, a skilled man who knew the art of a securing a good catch, at least in the ol’ days. By the water’s edge Jesus first met Simon Peter, and James and John a few years earlier. That divine encounter changed the direction of their lives. Seeing the boats, perhaps Peter remembered that day. Jesus got into his boat. It wasn’t the right time of day, but at the master’s command Peter let the net down. Never in all his life had such a catch been drawn! Overwhelming fear followed. Who was this Man? And yet this Man with such love and compelling affirmation spoke, Don’t be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” And they followed Him (Lk. 5:1-11). In his journey of faith, Peter yielded to the familiar. He returned to fishing, yet to no avail (Jn. 21:3). Jesus arrived on shore; however he didn’t scold and say “Peter, why have you gone back to fishing?” Rather “let me give you the clue of where the most fish are gathering, and throw your net there.” Even though all natural indicators made it appear foolish, obedience once again brought great blessing. What was laid down for a while, was breathed into by the resurrected Lord to bring a catch beyond compare. Peter’s desire, skill, and natural love of fishing was reignited with a pictorial confirmation of the Lord, once again, multiplying the catch in Peter’s hands to demonstrate the eternal dimension of his call. Soon Peter would be standing in Jerusalem, declaring boldly the Gospel, and drawing 3,000 souls in one catch (Acts. 2:14-41). There are times when it seems that the Lord allows natural areas to be “frustrated” for a time. Creative, natural abilities, which once seemed to effortlessly flow, later become laborious, or hindered in even attempting. In those times the Lord is doing a deep work, developing an eternal inward witness, and bringing a growth in the Spirit that will enable the eternal fruit to be contained, as the net which did not break (Jn. 21:11). What things within you may be “on the shelf” for the fullness of His time and purpose? At that appointed time, a fresh yielding will bring a deeper outworking of His glory. Giftings and abilities are tested, and when laid down become a precious sacrifice in exchange for a time of knowing Him more deeply. As the Lord reopens the opportunities be not reluctant to pick up “the fishing net” once again. A deposit of His substance has now been infused. What may seem as an ordinary experience is able to unfold by His leading, His instructing, and His moving and others are impacted more profoundly by His glory. In every season, He is at work ! In Him, Pastor Sharon Carlson