A Fish Story

Lou Lotz

READ : Luke 5:1-11

“Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing.” (v. 5)

A college student studies all night and still fails the exam. A salesman doubles his sales calls and still doesn’t make quota. A cancer patient undergoes a rigorous program of chemotherapy only to discover, six months later, that the disease is back. Sometimes, like the disciples, we toil all night and have nothing to show for it.

In the midst of our frustration it is often not the extraordinary, but the ordinary transformed, that brings results. Jesus tells Simon to do once more what he’s been doing all night without success. “If you say so,” says Simon. The nets are let down yet again, and what a catch! “They caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break.”

The point of the story is not that Jesus was with Simon in his success. The point is that Jesus was with Simon in his failure. If God is with us only in moments of success, then God is not with us very often, for most of us are more familiar with failure than with success. The good news is that God is with us when we toil all night and have nothing to show for it. Believing this does not mean we will overcome failure. It means that failure will not overcome us.


Lord, I trust you.