Ride the wave of the unexpected

Jesus' line, "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men" is included in the books of Matthew, Mark and Luke, but Matthew (4:18-22) and Mark (1:16-20) say little more than Jesus passed by and called His disciples this way. Luke tells a longer tale (5:1-11). Luke's account tells that Jesus went into the boat as a result of the pressing crowd and taught from the boat first. Then, after having taught the people, he told Simon to let out the nets. Simon protested "Master, we toiled all night and took nothing!"

If Simon had toiled all night unsuccessfully, why did he take Jesus out on his boat to let Him teach the crowds? Why not just go home and go to bed? If he knew about Jesus, why not ask him for fish to begin with? Maybe he was just too tired to care and figured he wasn't catching fish anyway. 

My Bible's footnotes label this story as "the unexpected catch." It was certainly unexpected to have a tiring, unsuccessful night fishing, then decide to take a man out on his boat to use as a teaching platform. Then it was unexpected to have this same man say, go fish! And what a catch! Then, on the ride of this wave of success, He says, give up the fish and follow Me. Ride the wave of the unexpected!

Ride the wave of the unexpected as you follow Jesus. It will have it's ups and downs and may even turn your definition of success on its head, but successful you will be.

"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return not thither but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in thing for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:9-11

Navigational Aids

We visited the car wash as a family recently. My husband

We visited the car wash as a family recently. My husband, who was driving, pulled to the spot indicated, set the car to neutral and kept his foot off the brake, allowing the machinery to pull us through. As we rode, water and foam and scrubbers beat at the window. I couldn't help but think the scene's resemblance to a storm or hurricane. The "storm" of the car wash was nothing bad, but planned and purposeful action towards a good end - a clean car.

My son has succumbed to the habit of nail biting and otherwise putting his fingers in his mouth often. We have been experimenting with the nail "polish" that gives nails a bad taste in order to break this habit. I have explained the "polish" application and resulting tastier not punishment for having bitten his nails, but serve as a tool to help him stop doing so. I pointed out examples of his own daddy wearing a wrist brace to heal an injured thumb or a person wearing a cast to mend a broken leg. Wearing a brace or fast is not fun, but it's not punishment either. It's an aid to help the person get better.

Jonah was given pretty clear instructions from God: "Arise, go to Nineveh..." (Jonah 1:2). However, Jonah chose to run the other way (1:3). The storm that interrupted his boat trip to Tarshish (1:4) and the giant fish that swallowed him (1:17) were not bad things God sent Jonah's way to hurt or punish him, but necessary steps to put him on the right track. The first stopped the fleeing, and the second was a free ride in the right direction. So the next time great winds hurl at you, you get a bad taste in your mouth or you find your movements somehow restricted, consider how these might be tools to help lead you in the right direction.