Let’s Go Fishing! Messages From Peter, Part 2

by | May 15, 2013 | Messages From Peter, Provision, Worry

They were so demoralized and discouraged that they couldn’t even decide what to do next. Oh, Jesus HAD appeared to them after His resurrection. They knew they were supposed to go out in this world. But they weren’t exactly sure WHERE to go, and they had no clue WHAT to preach!

After his tiresome betraying, Peter was a bit subdued. He recognized however, that someone had to step forward and lead this group, so he said the first thing that popped into his mind: “Let’s go fishing!”

And why not? Maybe they wouldn’t exactly be going out into the world, but they would be going OUT – onto a lake! And they KNEW what message they would be preaching there: “I am out to get fish to stop the rumbling in my stomach!”

And so they fished and fished and…well, they fished all that night. The only problem is, their nets, as well as their tummies, remained completely empty! They hadn’t caught anything, not even the tiniest herring (Do they even live in lakes?), and by morning they were even more depressed than ever.

I remember one time when my oldest son went out on our property with a butterfly net hanging from his shoulder. He, too, had a purpose. He, too, was going out into the world. He, too, wanted to catch something: a butterfly! Unlike Peter, his purpose was not to eat it, but to admire it.

Although he didn’t spend a whole night on his task, a couple of hours are quite a bit when you are eight years old! Especially when your butterfly cannot be found! Unlike Peter however, he didn’t come back empty-handed. When the butterflies made themselves invisible, he simply shifted his attention to the caterpillar. This he easily caught in a plastic container, and came back to the house proud of his accomplishment. After all, wouldn’t the caterpillar eventually turn into a butterfly?

The disciples were tired and deflated, and when a stranger happened to ask them a silly question: “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” (John 21:5 NIV), their response was less than polite: “No!”

Then the stranger said something really strange: “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” (John 21:6 NIV)

Who was that stranger to tell them, seasoned fishermen, how to fish? They obeyed however, and their reward was abundant: “When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.” (John 21:6 NIV)

Immediately John recognized the Stranger, and before five seconds were up, everyone on the boat exclaimed: “It is the Lord!”

It’s amazing how much time we waste on frivolous pursuits! Any purpose not driven by our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, is futile! Without His blessing we will end up deflated, discouraged and grumbling-even when we THINK we are working for the Lord! All may look great for a time, but if our purpose is built on nothing more than a pack of cards, it will tumble into nothingness. (Sounds a bit like what’s happening to our economy lately, doesn’t it?)

The fish were in the lake, but Peter couldn’t catch them. Jesus though knew where they were, and the One on whom we can rely directed him to the source of his needs.

But the story doesn’t end here. Although their nets were now full, they were still unable to eat. They first had to haul the fish ashore, clean them up, and then cook them with spices over a campfire. That would require time and effort. A surprise awaited them on shore, however: “When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.” (John 21:9 NIV)

And there was a gentle voice inviting them: “Come and have breakfast.” (John 21:12 NIV)

Finally their empty stomachs found relief!

Jesus will provide for all of our needs, but only if we let Him! We don’t ever need to worry over imaginary “what-if” scenarios! He will provide! He is the Lord! My oldest son realized this that day when he was out hunting butterflies. He never even thought to worry. He wasn’t even tempted to get discouraged! He knew the provider, and he knew that Jesus would come through. Oh, how much we can learn from young children! The apostles learned this same lesson after this experience, and never, ever once, did they doubt again during the rest of their life, that Jesus would indeed provide for their needs!

Why worry with such a faithful friend at our side? Our economic times may be disastrous and cataclysmic, but we don’t have to face them alone!

“Let’s go fishing!”

But first, shouldn’t we consult with the One we know as the Provider?

Rob Chaffart

(To access the entire “Messages From Peter” devotional series, please click here.


Let’s Go Fishing! Messages From Peter, Part 2