Memorial Day weekend my brother came to visit. We haven't been together in two years and it was wonderful to see his face. Friends who share our daily lives refresh and encourage us. Old friends who evolve into family members are few and precious. Then there are the actual members of your family who share your memories, your parents, your history, and in the case of my brother, we also share our faith.
My brother has a deep, contagious laugh that sets everything right. He's silly and fun, but he's also caring and sensitive and generous. I so admire him and look up to him, even though he is the little brother I used to push in a stroller and pat to sleep in his crib.
We went to church together Sunday morning. The evening before we talked a little of our faith journey--where God has us now and what we are learning, each of us embarking on a new level of trust and anticipation of what God desires for our lives. The passage we studied in church was from Luke 5.
When Jesus had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch." Simon answered, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets." When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. Vs. 4-6.
The fisherman realizes he's had an encounter with the living God. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!" Simon will never be the same. Scripture says he was astonished at the catch of fish. Another version says he was seized with amazement. Our summer venture has taken on the same quality--surreal amazement that we are in this place as we consider what the future holds.
When Jesus saw Simon Peter's reaction he says, "Don't be afraid; from now on you will catch men." And Jesus responds to me the same way when he sees my fear, my doubts, and my insecurities over my own ability to do what he's called me to do. "Don't be afraid; from now on you will..." Do what, Lord? I don't yet know, but that's okay.
Jesus says to us all, "Put out into deep water, and let down your nets for a catch." Without fully understanding, even if it might seem foolish at the time, we obey. Can we trust him for the catch of a lifetime? Can we trust him even if he leads us out to deep water where we've never gone before? What might fill our net that will change the course of our lives?
We sang a song that morning:
"Go to deep waters, deep waters, where only faith will let you go,
Go out to deep waters, deep waters,
Harvests of faith will overflow."