Messy Goodness

Luke 5:4 (the message)
When he finished teaching, he said to Simon, “Push out into deep water and let your nets out for a catch.”

A few nights ago Leah wanted to have a Bible story before bed. She brought her little Bible to us and since we haven’t been on a regular night-time schedule, I somewhat randomly chose Luke chapter 5.

The verse above caught at my heart as I read to our children.

Jesus had been teaching and the crowd grew to the point He decided to stand in a boat just off shore so more people could see and hear Him.

He’s like that, you know. Doing and going and reaching so not one of us gets left out.

After teaching the crowds, Jesus tells Peter to push out into deep water.

My heart contracts.

I think why did Jesus choose Peter’s boat? There were others close by with boats as well.

Check out Pete’s response (Luke 5:5)

Master, we’ve been fishing hard all night and haven’t caught even a minnow. But if you say so, I’ll let out the nets.

I can’t help but wonder if this is why.

Peter could see the obvious. He could see the overwhelming evidence that a great catch was not to be caught. He could see the futility.

But if you say so, I’ll let out the nets.

Peter was willing to push out into deep water because Jesus asked him to.

That simple, really.

And so Peter experienced the power of trusting Jesus. His boat was filled  with fish. So much so that they called one of their partners over and his boat was filled, as well.

Deep waters.

Jesus wants to do the impossible in our lives. The extraordinary. The unexpected. The so-much-you-can’t-contain-it.

But are we willing to push out into deep waters?

I’m drawn to the wording. See, you have to push sometimes.

Push against doubt. Your own as well as that of others.

Push against fear. The intimidation of the unknown.

Push against discomfort. Deep waters are not easy wading places.

You have to push. Put your back into it. Lean in and press into the place Jesus is asking you to go.

As I drove to work the morning after reading this story, my heart whispered thank you to Jesus.

Thank you for choosing my boat. Thank you for calling me to deep waters. Thank you for growing me through trials and crisis and years of living. Thank you for using every hard thing, every scary thing, to grow my trust. Thank you for helping me to see past contrary evidence and futility. Thank you for a love that touches me with such gentle kindness that I push back against fear, doubt and discomfort for the sake of it.

May I just say…

It’s hard to push out into deep waters. Even when you know Him. Even when you know He’s called you to do it. At one point or another you will wish He hadn’t asked.

But you must keep pushing out. Pushing back. Leaning in.

May I just share…

Deep waters are not congested places.

Sometimes you might feel a bit lonely. Or misunderstood.

But Jesus chose your boat for a reason. Because you would say yes when He asked.

Jesus is pushing with you. You have to see it. You have to picture Him right there with you.

Because deep water is endless beauty. Breathtaking.

The most alive you can be.

Realizing as you push your way out that every good and powerful thing that happens is only and always because Jesus is in your boat.

He asked. You just said yes.

So, as I’ve pushed and pressed against the current of discomfort over the past few weeks I pictured Him.

Seriously.

Not Jesus with the robe and sandals and deep, mysterious eyes.

Jesus with scrubs and a bit of a scruffy beard and maybe a red bandana on His head. Laughing eyes. Compassionate, happy to touch your life, eyes.

This is the Jesus who told me to push out into deep waters.

This is the Jesus I never want to resist. The Jesus by my side. The One who gives me courage and confidence and compassion.

My boat is filling.

My heart is filling.

I drive home and look into an amazing sky filled with the pinks of sunset. I feel overwhelmed. Not with fear or discomfort or dread but gratitude. Amazed at His hand. Amazed that my scrappy little boat…my messy little life…could be filled with the majestic goodness of God.

I’m a messy girl. I get ticked off. I complain. I whine and wish and want.

And I love Him. And I love the grace that is enough to cover my imperfections. This grace that fills and patches the holes in my life. The grace that makes me a fit vessel.

It’s messy goodness out on deep waters.

How about you? What whisper do you hear? What is Jesus asking? It’s most likely deeper than you think you want to go. Except your heart needs to be near Him. Your life one He can direct.

Are you tired? Afraid? Nearly unwilling?

Sweet friend, don’t miss your life.

Press on.

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