Daily Devotion for January 14, 2021

Awe in the Midst of God’s Presence

When he 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. (Luke 5:4-6).

This past year I bought a fishing license but never had the opportunity to go out fishing.  Even if I had, I knew I would not catch any fish for many good reasons.  My brother is a better fisherman.  When I looked at his fishing gear, it was not cheap.  His fishing pole and reel were top of the line; his line was super thin and strong and right for the kind of fish he expected to catch; his hooks, baits and flies were brand names. Besides, my brother said I had to know the right season, time and temperature of the day to fish.  Jesus’ disciples were fishermen in their occupation.  They must know everything about fishing and casting nets.  I wonder why they didn’t catch any fish all night until they met Jesus at the seashore in the morning.

I like to think that they caught some but not as many as they would have hope for.  They were experienced fishermen.  They knew the place where fish were and the time to fish.  They must be very good at fishing or they would have quit long before.  But if they want to catch more fish, I think it would take more than just the skill and experience.  They would need a moment with Jesus to experience catching a lot of fish and catching beyond expectation.  If we expect something great, something good and unusual, we need to go to God and have God be a part of it.

Many of us today are feeling tired in our lives and ministries, and for what continues to be going on these days with the pandemic and our communities and nation.  We are worn out, like the disciples who caught nothing all night, often feeling helpless and hopeless.  We don’t see the fruit of our work.  We don’t know what else to do better.  We have tried everything we know.  We did a lot and yet there was little or no fruit.  Perhaps, we need more time to be closer to God or be in the midst of God’s presence.

The disciples caught so many fish when they came to Jesus… in the midst of the divine presence.  Let’s not feel worn out or hopeless, even in this challenging time in our lives and ministries.  I feel we need a time closer to be with God, listen to God, pray and bring our hopes and dreams before God. God will lead us through, blessing the work that we do and bringing peace and fruit to our lives.  We will experience the “awe” of Peter when we come in the midst of God’s presence.  We will be inspired and encouraged by what we will see and what happens in the days to come.

Merciful God, help us to put our trust and belief in you and not in our own efforts, wisdom, and power.  Keep us closer to you that in the midst of your presence we will experience joy, peace, fruit and new life.  Bless the work that we do for the glory of your name and for your people.  Amen.