Far away but Close enough
One of my son's favorite activities is swimming. If I didn't know better I would check his neck for gills. He has taken multiple swim lessons and swam in all sorts of pools. While on vacation, I took him to the pool at our resort. Decked in ninja turtle swim gear - he looked like a little sea ninja turtle without fins.
Because we were on vacation, I had limited packing space so I left his arm floaties in Houston. But, I figured he was a strong enough swimmer to make it without them. At the pool, he swam pretty well. I stood by the pool’s side but let him venture out as far as his confidence would allow him.
He was far enough to practice what he knew but close enough that he could still hear my voice.
The Bible describes a moment when a mindful savior was close enough to save but far enough to teach.
“At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who he was. He called out, “Fellows, have you caught any fish?” “No,” they replied. Then he said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it.”
John 21:4-6 NLT
Jesus had died on the cross, was buried, and rose again. The disciples were out fishing but their efforts were in vain. At their point of exhaustion, they hear a voice from an unrecoginzable source. Based on research, it cannot accurately be determined how long the figure was there. Yet when day broke - they heard a voice and saw a figure.
Point 1 - God is here and He cares
There are moments that make us question if God really sees us. Truth is He promised to never leave us (Her 13:5) and He meant it. His silence does not denote His absence. God's voice of guidance and comfort can be masked by our toddler-type attitudes of “I got it” however, when we get tired of unsuccessful toiling we will hear the help we so desperately need.
Point 2 - You are closer than you think
Jesus didn’t tell the disciples to change their boat’s location. He instructed them to change the direction of their effort. It’s not that your calling/purpose is wrong. God is showing you that there is a better way to get results. Small changes in how you work will greatly affect how your results will work out.
Point 3 - Plan for a harvest
God doesn’t waste blessings. When He gives us a vision, He also gives provision. And, if God is providing He is also making sure that your net can sustain its increase. No one takes a small net for a large harvest. Even in the disciples' night of nothing they still used big nets because they expected a harvest.
Lean in on this, I heard a seasoned fisherman say that a good angler never reveals his fishing hole. It is comforting to know that we have a master fisherman who doesn’t keep secrets about our future success!
My son is a good swimmer but not as good as his father. Although he takes great pleasure in swimming, he has not perfected it. As I stood on the side of the pool cautiously watching him work and struggle, I offered a few adjustments to that helped him swim better. I believe Jesus stood on the shore not because He couldn’t walk on water and save the day but because he wanted to teach the disciples that abundant possibility was still available in a dry place if they refined their efforts and kept working. Jesus had done His work, it was their time to not only remain diligent but also maintain an open ear to divine instruction.
Are you still listening or have you given up? You can still win where you are!