Oh, yikes, I thought. How will she handle this?
Priscilla Shirer was just a little ways into her message last night when the clouds opened and rain and hail pelted the Indiana Convention Center with a deafening roar.
The storm’s timing was interesting. Priscilla had been reminding us from Luke 5:1 that just as Jesus saw Simon washing his nets after a sleepless, fish-less night in his boat, He sees us. He cares, even in the chaos of our life.
If distractible ol’ me had been the speaker, I would have been tempted to sit down right there in the middle of that platform and have a good cry. The audience could barely hear a thing over all that clamor. But Priscilla simply raised her voice louder, praying, “Yes Lord, send Your rain in this place!” and then continued teaching from Luke 5:1–7.
Your “Abandoned Boat Circumstance”
She pointed out that when Simon climbed out of his boat (v. 2), Jesus stepped in (v. 3). And suddenly, Simon’s abandoned boat became an amphitheater to teach the crowds. I loved Priscilla’s point that,
If Simon’s boat had been full of fish, there would have been nowhere for Jesus to stand.
When there seems to be weakness or lack in your life, you shouldn’t be sad—you should be excited. Jesus is getting ready to fill up that lack with Himself. He sees you. He’ll use that part of your life that seems useless.
What’s that “abandoned boat circumstance” of yours that Jesus wants to turn into an amphitheater to proclaim to others how awesome He is?
An Invitation to Go Into the Deep End with Jesus
When Jesus finishes teaching the crowd from Simon’s boat, he extended a startling invitation to Simon: “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch” (v. 4).
In Priscilla’s words,
Is God calling you to something risky? Do you feel like you’re “in over your head”?
The shallow water was to teach the people. The deep water was to teach Simon.
If God’s calling you to a deep place, it’s a divine setup for you personally to experience Him.
It may not make sense, what Jesus is asking of you. It sure didn’t make sense to Simon after a wasted night of fishing. But He did it anyway, just because Jesus said so. In Priscilla's words,
You’re better off in deep water with Jesus than you are in shallow water without Him, where you’re able to stand on your two feet. After all, Jesus is the God who can help you walk on the water!
If Jesus is going deep, you need to go deep. Yes, you’re going to be in over your head. But when you’re already in over your head, it doesn’t matter how much deeper you go.
So go deep.
Speechless In the Deep
When Simon climbed back in his boat and ventured out into the deep with Jesus, his place of weakness suddenly became the site of his biggest catch yet: “When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break” (v. 6).
When this happened, you’d expect Simon to shout to his buddies in the second boat, but he didn’t. Instead, he signaled to them (v. 7). Priscilla thinks that’s because he was speechless. “That kind of miracle only happens in the risky place of faith,” she said.
So how about you? Is God calling you to a place where you’re “in over your head”? Will you go into the deep with Him so that His strength can be showcased in your inadequacy?
If you do, prepare to be left speechless.