Deep Water

So tonight, forgive me, but I’m going to reblog one of my favorite posts from 2016.

We’ve been dealing with a family emergency, so I haven’t had 2 minutes to sit down and write to you, my dear friends.

So thank you for giving me an extra couple days here. This post is ringing true in my life right now more than ever, perhaps it will for you too. Happy New Year friends. 🙂


Ever feel like your life is a broken record?

Like there’s something that you just. can’t. break free from? Just can’t quit or fix or resolve?

How many times have you gone to bed and thought, “Well, I’ll try again tomorrow.”

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Ask anyone who’s breathing and they can relate.

“Go out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Luke 5

This is a pretty famous story in the bible. The gist is this: Jesus takes a fisherman named Simon, out into a boat to teach and fish. Simon was clearly not a very good fisherman, because he had been fishing all day and all night and ended up with diddly squat.

So then Jesus says His infamous one liner: “Go out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”

Ofc, Simon protests, “Lord, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

He does. And proceeds to fill up the net with so many fish that it nearly breaks. So they summon another boat and they fill up both boats with so many fish that they begin to sink.

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OK, whatever, great story. I’m not a fisherman, nor really a fan of fish… soooo what’s the point here?

I was at church the other day, and they read this story. And they talked about the usual: about following what Jesus tells you to do. About being “fishers of men.” Yaddy yaddy yaddah.

Frankly, I’ve been hearing the same preaching on that verse since I was 5.

And as I was walking home, as one does in NYC, my mind was wandering and pondering. Thinking about that story. And something new was put on my heart.

DEEP WATER.

Those were the two words that just flooded my heart.

Deep. Water.

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Back in biblical times, fishing was a lot different than it is today. First of all, it was done with nets. And secondly, the majority of the fishing was done from shore or in shallow water. The fisherman would either throw the nets from shore, or they’d put a big dragnet into shallow waters with a boat, and then drag it in from the beach.

Going out into deep water was a big deal, as there weren’t motors — so it was hard work. And it required a big, strong crew. So the techniques used for fishing were mainly from the shore or in shallow waters.

So.

Deep Water.

Jesus tells Simon to go out to deep water.

AKA: do something different. Do what is difficult. Do something radical.

Simon had been trying and trying and trying unsuccessfully to catch fish.

I don’t know about you, but that just sounds dismal. You’re out in the hot sun all day. There’s no deodorant. No bug spray. Your nets and buckets smell like old fish. There’s no Pandora to listen to. And you’ve been working your arse off all. day. And you literally have nothing to show for all your hard work. Hell, you don’t even get a good selfie out of the whole situation! I’d be about ready to bang my head against a wall!

We don’t have to be fisherman to understand this sentiment.

Doesn’t that sound like recovery in a lot of ways?

Doesn’t that sound like life in a lot of ways?

How many times have you tried and tried to do something and just fallen short?

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Studying for exams. Trying to make the varsity team. Getting a promotion at work. Trying to win over a particularly difficult person. Battling an addiction or harmful thought pattern.

There were phases in my recovery where it felt like every day I was casting out net after net after net and coming up with nothing. I’d slip up with exercise. Get fixated on perfection. Let ED harangue my body image and self-worth.

I was trying. But getting nowhere. Perhaps you can relate.

Deep water.

I had to go to deep water to do something.

I had to do something radical. Something that was significantly different than what I was previously doing. Something that was hard, potentially dangerous, and quite scary.

I had to surrender.

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I’m gonna keep this short, so as not to get preachy.

The last thing to take away, was that Jesus didn’t tell Simon to go out and catch those fish while He lounged on the beach sipping Pina Coladas.

Jesus was in the boat with Simon.

Jesus went out to the deep water with him and helped Simon haul in all those fish. They did it together. And the results were glorious. Miraculous, even.

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What’s the deep water in your life? What’s something radical that you need to try, in order to change the outcome of an unfruitful fishing effort?

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The fish are out there. Waiting to be caught. So many that they’ll sink your boat. But you’ve got to leave the shore in order to catch them.

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“Go out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”

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244 thoughts on “Deep Water

  1. Thank you, loved it. This is one of my favorite stories because the next thing that happens is Jesus invites them to leave all that money (fish) right there on the shore and “come, follow me”
    Sometimes the radical is the the best option.

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  2. Beautiful post. It makes me think of Davos where basically he says deep calls into deep. The deep on him was calling out to the deep in God. We often have to go deep to get the bigger reward. I love your blog. Be blessed!

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  3. In life we tend to do the same thing over and over that had once been successful. Then comes a time when that tried and true method fails to provide expected results. At this point we can either continue with our habit and fail more and more, or we can sail into foreign, deeper, or unknown waters and try again. It takes courage and faith to step forward into the unknown and is not for the weak of heart.
    But fear not, for God will never ask you to walk alone and as long as you allow Him to, He is walking right beside you.

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  4. I’m glad you liked that story I’ve started writing on my blog, “I Have Found It.” I was worried that no one would like it.

    And thank you for this post. You gave me a new way to think about a story I’ve heard a lot.

    Thank you for all the good work you’re doing.

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  5. This is an awesome testimony of perseverance, an inopportune time, and the challenge to walk by faith in obedience. I can tell you for me, after I have been working all night long, my chances of not giving an earful of complaints is more likely to happen that saying, “Yes Lord”.

    These were experience fisherman that knew all to well the best and worst time to throw the nets. However, I am so glad that God is able to do things that we do not have the ability to do. He is able to flood our lives with blessing at the most unexpected time, in the most unexpected way, with the most unexpected people.

    Great life-lesson.

    https://aspirations-of-living.blog/

    John Hayes

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  6. I missed this one Caralyn – its a challenge to all of us. I like what someone once said to me that in the presence of Jesus, how could the fish resist – all scrambling into the nets to get close to him!

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    • Hey there friend! Oh, good, I’m glad it was new for you 🙂 hahaha oh my gosh I’ve never heard that before about the fish but it’s so true! They were practically jumping into the boat! 🙂 hehe hugs xox

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  7. Great post. I think I had read it in the past from you (some of the expressions reverberated) not sure. Will reblog it today. There is some strong stuff there. Happy New Year. Hope that fam situation gets resolved. Sincerely; MAO

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  8. Reblogged this on andnowmiguel and commented:
    This is from a fellow blogger. She has some great posts. I hope you enjoy it. It talks about Trust, heeding, obedience, and experience following the carrying out of God’s challenge. Shaky bu rewarded. Growth.

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  9. I hope your family can find peace. And this was a great post. I literally would be uncomfortable with going out to deep water, so far that I could no longer be oriented by the familiar shore. In the past I have had radical faith in Christ and would obey, appearing crazy to the world. But now I need to look at this passage again and really consider the “deep water” in my life today. Thank you.

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  10. First, I just want to let you know that you and your family are in my prayers.

    Thank you for reposting this blog! I was just (seriously, like 2 hours ago) listening to a podcast with the author of a book called “Into the Deep” about prayer – how prayer and a relationship with God is like going out into the deep. He is there with us. We don’t know what will happen when we start praying and when we surrender to Him, but we trust that it is good, because God can only bring about what is ultimately good for us.

    Wishing you and your family a safe, healthy, blessed 2017. God bless you! xoxoxo

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    • Than you so much Lulu. I really appreciate the prayers so much. What a coincidence! Sounds like an awesome podcast. I’ll have to look that up – into the deep. amen to that. we’ve got to surrender. happy new year, my beautiful friend! hugs xox

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi again.

    🙂 You can’t help but be “preachy” when citing the gospel stories. But when you do, you’re being generous, sharing riches that are only found one place.

    Deep water is a wonderful takeaway from this account. I hadn’t noticed that (much) but you’re absolutely right; it’s a key component of how the miracle happened. And it was a miracle.

    I usually notice Peter’s response when he saw the catch – trembling, on his knees telling Jesus to get away from him because he was a sinful man. He was a fisherman by trade and knew very well that this kind of thing literally NEVER happened. I love that part because it means God will meet us in our jobs – our occupations – and give more than we can contain if we (as you said) cast our nets in deep water.

    The other part (yes, 3-point sermon Johnny here) is that Jesus told him he would become a fisher of people. This really is preachy because the call is to be someone who shares his/her faith to help others come to faith. But I notice the “fit” of Peter to the task. He’s already a fisherman. He knows the business. He just needs to adapt his business acumen to a new field. That applies to every believer – it’s no mistake that we’re salespeople, marketers, engineers.

    I recommend Timothy Keller’s “Every Good Endeavor” .. great book on that last subject.

    Sorry to dribble on .. you can tell that I love this story. Thanks for opening it up!

    -John

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  13. Deep water. That’s a new aspect to that story for me, too. And that’s been true for me too, Father nudges me out toward the deep places with that wink and if I go…broken nets.

    You know what I like about this story? Peter didn’t know Jesus. But all it took was one catch of fish and he saw..I don’t even know what, but someone so much more holy and worthy than him. And he tries to push Jesus away ‘–I’m way to bad a person for you to be hanging around…’ and Jesus kind of just nonchalantly twists his paradigm around with a, ‘don’t be afraid. Come on, I’ll show you how to fish for people.’

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    • Thanks for this Carson. That’s so true about Peter! It’s hard to believe that he literally left everything after that once encounter. Just speaks to His incredible way of drawing people in. And what an example..no matter how we push, He always finds a way to break through. God is good. Thanks for stopping by! Hope you’re having a great week! Big hugs xox

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  14. Thanks for the post, Caralyn.

    It’s interesting you blogged this at this point of time. The last I had processed this event was when the school I had been involved with about 5 years ago, hit a crisis (I inherited a massive deficit and a bad budget when I joined). The passage that had spoken to me then was the one in which Jesus says to throw the net out on the ‘other side’ and at that time, my question and seeking was for the ‘other side’. That said, we had a sudden influx of business a few months down the line and at the end of the year, we made up the deficit, made the bad budget good (it was a loss budget – making the budget meant we would have a loss!) and actually made a small profit. It was a standing testimony of how faithful God was and changed the way I looked at budgets.

    This year, the school I’m currently in is in a similar situation, with 6 months of bad business and after having had to deal with intentionally non-complying teachers, I’ve been having a persistent feeling of having hit a plateau with my professional development, and what direction it should head this year with our, now, very small team of teachers. I don’t believe your post is a coincidence.

    What strikes me is that it’s not human strategy, but a command from Jesus, and the disciple’s response ‘… but because you say so…’ is to me a critical indicator for the need to seek God’s will and heart at these points, because it will often go against the grain of strategizing, board decisions, and management thinking to obey God and bring the business into success. The second thing is that these points of God’s intervention come at peaks of human failure, when morale is at the lowest, and the tendency is towards action to rectify, and not reflection to seek the will of an invisible being.

    Your post had given me food for thought along with the unmistakable pointer to seek out what God wants in this season.

    God bless.
    Indi

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    • Wow, Indi, that’s incredible that you were able to turn that school around. I will definitely pray for your current situation. God has clearly blessed you with great problem solving skills and I know He will do powerful things with you. So glad this crossed your path when it did. Big hugs xox

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      • That’s kind of you, Caralyn, but really, as in the case of the fish, God did something unnatural (in the light of the obvious failures of the expert fishermen, who beyond the shadow of a doubt knew when and where to fish), and His advice seems facetious, but it was obviously the power of the Spirit who drew the fish in to a place they perhaps may never have come.

        Really, it was God who turned the school around. And I know you meant that without any doubt. I need to say it though, because it wasn’t my doing. I was perplexed, and had no idea what to do, and sort of fumbled my way through unfamiliar territory – I’m a teacher, not an account+administrator+trainer+businessman+planner cyborg! My family will vouch for that. 😀

        The pain of many unfamiliar situations has forced me to wear hats I’m not comfortable in, and then God stepped in with such enormous grace. Bless His name!

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      • Haha a cyborg:) that made me chuckle. Yes, I totally get that. God is the source for everything in life. And He always steps in with enormous grace, indeed. Yes, praise be to God! Thanks again for all your encouragement and support. Xoxoxo

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  19. Great post! I’m glad you led me to it by putting a Like on my Quiet Christian Speaks – Part Four. I hadn’t even finished proofreading my post in place when your Like appeared. Wow! Thanks!
    I’ll be checking out some of your other writings. God bless you.

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  20. Really needed this lesson today, so thank you for posting. I, too, have had a tough time trusting God’s word. Often times thinking he’s flat out nuts. But I always think of one of my favorite verses when I start to have my doubts. It comes from the book of Jeremiah.

    17: 7-8 But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

    I can’t worry about I have to overcome. I have to trust that what I’m overcoming was put in front of me for a reason. That God does, in fact, give his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers.

    Thank you again, for this! My first time reading something from you and I picked the one I needed. God bless, always.

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    • Hey friend! Oh, thank you so much. I’m so glad that this hit home with you. It’s true – trusting God is a lot easier said than actually done!! Wow I love that verse. Thanks for sharing it! hope you have a beautiful weekend! hugs xox

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