Simon answered, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because You say so, I will let down the nets." - Luke 5:5 (NIV)
My son Gregg's family lives in Annapolis and he is an accomplished fisherman having won numerous Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay tournaments. However, I remember the day when we went fishing for Rockfish (also known as striped bass) with a friend he invited to join us. It is helpful to have a crew of at least three when you lower the outriggers on the boat and have 14 lines in the water with someone on the fly bridge to steer while trolling. Well, we fished the bay all day and while we enjoyed the companionship, we caught nothing. Some days, even an experienced angler that is doing everything right may not catch any fish. Fishing requires persistence, a focus on good practices and a willingness to accept any result.
Our spiritual practices of prayer, scripture reading and worship, to name just a few, can often seem like that fishing trip. Even when we "do everything right" it sometimes feels like we come up empty. Like learning to fish, learning to be a disciple requires persistence, good practice and a sense of peace - whatever the outcome. We keep trying, with the faith that even when "we've
worked hard all night/day and caught nothing" Jesus is present with us, giving us a sense of purpose in His service.
Dear Lord, give me the patience to persist in discipleship even when I feel like I am coming up empty. Help me to be faithful, even as You are faithful. In the name of our Lord and Savior, Amen.