Sunday, June 29, 2008

Obedience after the work seems done (church bulletin cover)

School is out and summertime is upon us! For Winnipeggers, that’s the equivalent of offering sunlight and celebration to workers coming up from months in the Mines of the Mundane. Freedom, we cry! But what if as we came up from those shafts of hard work and honest labour, we found that God was asking us to help Him with something amazing He wanted to do? What would be our response?

There was a time when, after a hard night’s work for Peter and his fishing companions, Jesus asked Peter to put out into deep water and let down his nets for a catch. Peter’s response was to say, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing! But I’ll do as you say and let down the nets” (Luke 5:5). How much of our labour between September and June can be summed up by the words, “I’ve worked so hard already, and it hasn’t even seemed that worthwhile”? The hard work of life’s routines can produce a resistance to anything new God may ask of us come summertime. But God doesn’t stop moving in the summer, and may be asking us to do something far more wonderful than what we’ve seen since last summer! Yes, it’s easy to say, “I’m too tired – haven’t I already done enough?” And we might even dare to wonder at the value of doing the very thing God asks of us. But in so thinking, we must be careful that weariness doesn’t become the seedbed of unbelief in our hearts.

Peter, though, does as he’s asked, and the result is a net so full of fish that it was to the point of nearly breaking (Luke 5:6)! Obeying the voice of God is so much more rewarding that the toil of our own efforts. So no matter how weary I may be from the routines of September to June, if God is merciful enough to speak to me about what He’s doing these days, I want to be ready to obey Him. And God forbid that I should be so weary from the busyness of fall-winter-spring that I’m not willing to obey Jesus in the specific things He asks of me come summer. For it’s as I obey Jesus that I will be left so amazed at Him that I’d be willing to leave everything behind to follow Him (Luke 5:9-11)!

© 2008 by Ken Peters

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