by Pastor Jonathan S. Ferriol

Simon Peter and other fishermen from the lowly town of Galilee had just anchored their boats and finally called it a day. After spending an entire night catching fish, none of these seasoned fishermen caught anything, not even a sardine. It was a bad day for these good old fishermen from Galilee (Luke 5:1-10)

Washing their fish nets in silent resignation, they suddenly heard someone shouting to them. “Throw your nets on the deep end. There’s fish there!” Whose voice could that be? Simon Peter turned and saw a familiar figure. It was the rabbi from Nazareth who had been creating a lot of buzz in his neighborhood recently. They say that he was no ordinary teacher. That he was a miracle worker of some sort. They say his name was Jesus.

“Throw your nets one more time!” the Teacher beckoned once again. Peter looked at him quizically and thought, “He must be joking, right?” “I know he could teach and preach, but to catch fish?” Simon, however, saw something in Jesus’ expression that made him obey what he taught was quite ludicrous advice. Not wanting to look like a fool and embarrass himself, Simon retorted. “Master, we have fished all night but caught none. But because you said it, I will, one last time!”

“You got to be right, Jesus or we would both looking like fools at the end of this day!” Simon thought as he brought back on board his fishing gear and started rowing towards farther away from the shore lake. From afar, Simon could still see Jesus seated on one of the boats as if expecting something. Looking away, Simon flung his nets farther and wider back to the lake. He let some moments passed and then pulling back the nets, Simon couldn’t believe what he saw – fish, lots of them, no, tons of them! His nets started to break apart from the weight of his catch. Panicking and almost in a frenzy, Peter called out for the other boats to help him bring on board his record-breaking catch!

Rowing back to the shores, Simon couldn’t take his eyes off from Jesus. Humbled and broken, he jumped out of the boat and pleaded Jesus, “Get away from me, Lord! I am a sinner!” But the Teacher said, “From now on, you will be fishers of men!”

I was meditating on this drama of Simon Peter’s calling and what struck me was how we, as God’s people, must learn to receive with humility and brokenness the blessings from God that come our way each day. When blessed, Peter felt unworthy to claim it. He did not take any credit for it. But he surely didn’t brush it as mere chance nor take it for granted, either. No, but what he did was reflect on his own frailty and recognize the Lord as the sole responsible giver of those earthly goodness.

I observe that my discipline of humility is often tested in times of abundance and blessings. When blessed, I sense that my ego tends to inflate too. When applauded, praised, affirmed and recognized, I sense that my pride goes on overdrive. Thank God, there’s the Holy Spirit and these passages that help me keep my feet on the ground. My prayer always to God is to “give me always a corner in your vast vineyard where I can serve and shine for you…”

How about you? Is God blessing you with breakthroughs, successes, promotions and recognitions? How do you handle them? Do you genuinely return the praise to God by serving Him more or do you indulge yourself in the trappings and confines of His blessings? May God teach us all to be humble to see His greater blessings in our lives! (Micah 6:8).

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