One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. 2 He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and let down the nets for a catch.”  5 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.”  6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.  8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.  Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on, you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything, and followed him.”  (Luke 5:1—11)


            Ever been struggling with failed efforts?  Ever been frustrated with unmet expectations in your plans?  Ever feel like giving up?  Ever felt like your professional career life is not where you expected it to be?  In this story, Luke wrote,  Jesus interacts with a very disappointed, frustrated, professional fisherman.  Peter’s day wasn’t going well, and so were his friends, who spent all night fishing.  Peter and his friend’s boat returned empty.  The whole day seemed like a wasted effort, for they couldn’t catch any fish. 

            Frustrations, whether one day or a whole week, if not dealt with properly, can develop into a very unproductive life.  Many continue to live and rehearse the frustration of plans that did not materialize or may require more time to see what happens.  Peter had no idea that Jesus saw him.  Jesus was very particular when he picked Peter out from all the other fishermen and people gathering around him.  Peter was not just a crowd member or a number to Jesus.  Peter was somebody.  He was a person that Jesus wanted to focus on.

            Some lessons to learn are how to deal with unmet expectations and frustrations of life as I journey into 2023.

  • Jesus always sees me at all times.  In times that I am doing good and in times that I feel like a failure. 
  • Jesus focuses on you as an individual and wants to be involved in the situations that we are in.  Jesus got into Peter’s life (boat)
  • Jesus has a word for Peter…Put into deep water and let down the nets for a catch.  Though Jesus is aware of Peter’s challenges, he encourages HIM TO TRY AGAIN.
  • Jesus knew that Peter could succeed when he obeyed his word.  Though Peter was tired, I was inspired by his response; Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything.  But BECAUSE you say so, I WILL LET DOWN THE NETS.
  • Jesus will always PERFORM what he said he would do, whether I believe him.  Their nets were at a breaking point, and they called out to other fishermen to help out.  Obedience to Jesus’s word always brings an overflow of favor and blessings.
  • Jesus will NEVER condemn us when we fail to believe his word.  Our own conscious condemns us.  Never let our failures push Christ away.  Let our failures invite Christ into our lives. 
  • Jesus is the greatest encourager;  Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on, you will fish for people.”   What a comfort to know that Christ works with us in our weaknesses and does not condemn us for failing to believe. 

A genuine encounter with Jesus will always result in leaving everything and following him.  Peter and his fishermen’s friends’ response was so decisive.    So,  they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything, and followed him.”


            I am grateful for the reminders here from Peter and Jesus’ encounter.  It changed Peter and his friends’ lives.  I, too, desire to be like Peter.  Sometimes I a prone to listen to my frustrations and disappointments.  Sometimes I fail to see that Jesus’ power is the most encouraging thing in times of my failings.  I keep my heart trusting in Christ daily, no matter the outcomes of situations in my journey. 


            Jesus, thank you that you see me and come to me to lead and help me in times of vulnerability.  I often wondered about your word and how it changes me in every situation I face, and for that, I am grateful.  I ask that you continue speaking to me when I don’t feel everything is going well.  Lead me and guide me with your wisdom to know that no problem is too big or too small for you to be involved in my life.  Thank you for being the greatest encourager of those who have failed your word.  I love you and will continue to keep my eyes on you in 2023.  Amen!