“Try again!” Ann screamed as she waited for the last four digits to process.
“I am sorry, mam, but your passport has not been processed, as of today,” the gentle voice said on the phone.
“There must be some mistake,” Ann exclaimed. She had expected her passport to arrive a week ago, and she needed it to go to Morocco for a wedding, which was in three weeks. She felt the passport couldn’t come quick enough.
“I can put a rush order on it for you,” the representative replied.
Ann’s frustration grew, and with right reason. She had missed her girl’s trip to Aruba because of a passport delay. “I knew this was going to happen. I don’t even know why I tried,” she mumbled.
“Let me try something else. Do not lose hope, Ms. Taylor,” the representative said in a calm voice. “I’ll try this again for you. We’ll get this worked out, I promise.”
A little too late for that, Ann thought. She felt excitement fade and disappointment grow….
Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing but I will do as you say and let down the net.“~Luke 5:5 NASB
Does God care about little details of our lives, like what Ann faced? Does He care about the disappointments of life? Let’s look at a biblical example. Simon Peter faces disappointments regarding his occupation:
In the familiar text of Luke 5, Simon Peter has been fishing all night but he catches nothing. Being a fisherman by trade, every night counts. If he doesn’t catch fish, his livelihood diminishes. I can imagine Simon’s frustration as he sits in his boat, scouring an empty net again, cleaning it of debris, seaweed, and mud, but finding not even a single fish. He must have felt like a failure, and as he was not able to provide adequately for his family.
Can we envision Simon’s look of disappointment? For a fisherman, the whole purpose of cleaning nets was to ensure a full catch when they fish again. Simon was finding himself cleaning out of habit, but without a reward, his face had become downcast.
Jesus comes by, to the same shore where Simon is working. Simon does not know it yet, but he was about to encounter something that would change his situation entirely. Jesus asks Simon to allow Him to use his boat to teach offshore. Simon agrees, pushing the boat a little way from the shoreline, with the Messiah at the prow. Simon was already frustrated, and Jesus was asking Him to let him teach in his boat, saying in essence, “Simon give me a little help first; then I’ll address your need.”
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.~Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB
Many of us find ourselves in a similar predicament, and disappointment sets in just like it does for Simon Peter. We have expectations for the Lord to do something about our situation first, but He doesn’t. He asks us to do something for Him first.
We can become so focused on our situation that we forget who is with us. Jesus knows what we need; He never forgets us or our needs. It is easy to become stuck, with a level of expectation that is self-centered. Jesus challenges Simon, asking him to look beyond himself, to see what was possible. Sometimes the familiarity of what we are experiencing distracts us from knowing what is possible if we trust Jesus with our whole heart.
What does Simon do when faced with this predicament? He decides to trust, and going beyond the emotions that had welled within him from the diminished catch, and even beyond what appeared to be the next logical step. After Jesus preaches, He says, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch” (Luke 5:4b NKJV). Simon had been fishing all night, and yet the Son of God asks him to go through the process again. There is that ugly word we do not like–the process. However, the process is where we learn and grow, and I honestly can say it does not always feel good. I do not always understand the process, but I’ve learned to trust God with it.
Jesus can give us a glimpse of hope during times of uncertainty, and a willingness to try again.~Charles E. Maldon, Jr., author of In the Beginning: Godliness through Marriage
Sometimes I feel disconnected when I focus only on the moment. It is then that Jesus reminds me He is with me. Friend, He is with you too. Jesus can give us a glimpse of hope during times of uncertainty, and a willingness to try again.
Simon’s trust is about to pay off in a big way. The Lord does the miraculous in a moment, and He pivots a situation that looked hopeless into bliss as Simon lets down his net and makes a miraculous catch. There are so many fish, he has to ask assistance from their partners in their other boat. The process Jesus takes Simon through changes the trajectory of the story not because of the number of fish in the net, nor because of the condition of the net, but because Simon chose to trust in Jesus.
Jesus then tells Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on, you will catch men” (Luke 5:10b NKJV). This launches him into the ministry.
This miracle repeats after the Lord’s resurrection, when Simon was so discouraged he had left the ministry to go back to fishing. Catching nothing, Jesus tells him to try again, and he catches 153 fish. Simon recognizes Jesus is still in the midst, caring about every detail of his life.
Friend, when we allow Jesus to change our mindset so we are walking in true faith, major paradigm shifts occur. Let’s fish with the Fisher of Men, and trust Him with our life. Through every season of life–both good and bad–the Lord is there. He will see us through. We must “try again” at the Master’s call. Because your life belongs to the Lord, your miraculous catch awaits….
Is Jesus stretching your faith to believe for something that is beyond the ordinary? Will you trust Him and “try again”?
Father God, I have been afraid to trust certain situations to You. I have held myself back from receiving Your best for my life because of anxious thoughts. Help me to trust You with the process so You can bring my life to a place of fulfillment. Forgive me for placing my needs before Yours. Search my heart and help me to move from where I am to where You want me to be.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Genre: Opening example, Fiction; body, Non-fiction
Copyright 2021: Hope in the “Try Again”: Charles E. Maldon, Jr.: All Rights Reserved
Charles E. Maldon Jr., is an ordained reverend, speaker, writer and mentor. However, the title he is most proud of is a servant of Christ.
Charles is a devotion/article writer for VineWords: Devotions and More, specializing in the area of marriage, with the goal of helping men improve their marriages.
Charles’s mission in life is to encourage others to know their true value by developing an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ. As the Lord continues to mold him, Charles uses his colorful life experiences, both “good and bad,” as real-life ministry tools. He believes there are treasures to be found in every trial—perspective is everything.
The crux of his writing is to bring others to freedom through authentic transparency. In addition to his writing, Charles is the founder/administrator of Break-Thru Ministries, a men’s ministry which focuses on helping the family, especially men, to become all that Christ created them to be. He enjoys helping men to fulfill their calling in life, relationships, and manhood.
He is currently in the process of revising his book, In the Beginning: Godliness through Marriage. He is a member of the Maryland Writer’s Association and Word Weavers. He also blogs on his ministry page, Break-Thru Ministries, where his hope is to touch someone with the love of Jesus.
Charles is the proud father of two boys and resides in North Carolina with his lovely wife Lekeisha. In his spare time, he enjoys working out, traveling and spending time with his family.
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