Dropping Your Nets
This article is a continuation of a previous article where I discussed how I spent most of my life trying to build a perfect family for Christ but was unknowingly letting legalism, self-righteousness and self-sufficiency rule in my heart. That is until God used an EF4 tornado to bring down my house built on the sand.
I began to understand grace in ways I had never known.
He began softening my stone cold heart, showing me that I was not the person I was striving to be. He chipped away at my heart of legalism and began to replace it with a heart of compassion for a hurting world. People who I would once shield my children from, I now approached with genuine love and asked to know their story. I saw past tattoos and piercings. I was interested in their heart.
Who was this person? Where was the judgmental woman who smiled kindly, but in her thoughts felt they just needed to trust Jesus? Or even worse, be more like her?
He didn’t stop there. My trophy children began to spiral under the pressure of grief and trauma and their sin was exposed to a watching world. Not only was it painful to watch my children take such horrifying plunges, my pride was crushed. It was a tough pill to swallow to see all my years of perfecting my family’s appearance and morality in shambles. God showed me that only He could give them a new heart. Another part of the net I needed to drop.
Founder, Refined Family
Kerry Tittle is a mother of 10 children and an 20+-year homeschool veteran. She is the founder of Refined Family. Her desire is to honor Christ while comforting others with the comfort she has received from the Lord.
God does his best transformations in the valley of darkness. Trying to feel your way through that valley has a way of showing you that you have no self sufficiency. My strength had failed me and I was keenly aware that there was no strength in me apart from Christ. These days have been the darkest and the loneliest days of my life. Depression cast a dark shadow over my soul. Getting out of bed was only thing I would accomplish on some days. Scripture was like a foreign text to my heart that had no desire to be probed. Worship was exhausting. More times than I could count I felt like a third person watching a worship service. I wasn’t there and I certainly wasn’t feeling the joy that those around me seemed to have. Not being able to explain what I was going through was frustrating. How could I when I couldn’t understand? The more I sank in the murkiness of hopelessness the more isolating it became.
Yet He still called me to follow Him.
Luke is more descriptive in the dropping of the nets.
Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. Luke 5:3-7
One of the reasons Simon Peter fished at night was because the fish would migrate to shallow waters in the evenings. This would make an easier catch. During the day they would go back to the central waters of the lake. It’s no wonder Peter was confused why the Lord would make such a senseless request. But he was greatly blessed by his obedience.
Sometimes the Lord asks us to walk the most irrational paths. We don’t have to figure it out. He just calls us to be faithful.
It blows my mind that these men have the craziest catch of fish ever, and they left it all to follow Christ. The left the life they had known, their occupation…everything!
What is more mind-blowing, is they were fully aware of the recent fate of John the Baptist! Matthew 14:3-13. They knew up front this would not be an easy path (sadly as we find in Acts it wasn’t). They didn’t white-knuckle hold on to the gifts of the world, they willingly opened their hands in release and dropped the nets. And followed Him.
It is also interesting to note four simple words Jesus reassured Peter with,
“Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” – Luke 5:10
This reassurance “Do not be afraid” is often found in scripture. And for good reason. Often following Jesus seems risky. Vulnerable. Opening yourself to pain. Jesus is more than aware of the cost. But these four words prompt us to remember, whatever the cost, He is with us. (Hebrews 13:5) We can, even in fear, take that next step to drop those nets. Because He WILL. BE. WITH. US. His promises can assure us when our hearts and strength fail.
I can attest to this over and over as I have seen the power of God’s strength these last few years of my life. He has held me fast by his remarkable grace, when by all human reason I should never have stood at all.
Let the nets fall away and give attentiveness to the joy that is set before us.