Discouraged? Feel Like Going Fishing?

October 8, 2013

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Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

The Catalyst Conference I recently attended is a gathering of pastors, church leaders, writers and speakers. People who are giving themselves in the arena of ministry.

Many come to Catalyst hungry to be fed since they routinely are feeding others.
We come to hear from God and to be inspired.
And, to be honest, many times we come because we are discouraged, weary, and tired.

I attended for all of the above reasons.

Judah Smith gave three quick glimpses into stories in Scripture which help us lift up our heads when we get weary. He is the lead pastor from City Church in Seattle, as well as the author of Jesus Is: Find a New Way to Be Human. Here is my summary of his message.

The 3 glimpses were:

1. Luke 15 and the story of the prodigal son.
2. Matthew 14 with Peter walking on the water.
3. John 21 following Peter’s denial of Christ.

In all these stories we see God calling people to “Come” to him shortly after messing up.

The prodigal son ends up dancing at a party in his honor hours after returning penniless and shoeless. His father still loves and accepts him in spite of his failures. “Come”, get the fatted calf, let’s celebrate.

Peter responds to Jesus’s invitation to “Come” out on the water, only to fear and sink. He ends up back in the boat worshipping the one who silences the storm while soaking wet.

Peter takes off and goes fishing following his denials of Christ, returning to his former life. Jesus comes and cooks Peter breakfast, inviting him to eat. “Come”. He then proceeds to restore him by commissioning him three times.

In our weakest moments, or shortly after them,  God invites us to “Come.”

Come to the party right after you’ve squandered the inheritance.
He invites us to worship him while soaking wet right after our greatest failures.
Jesus restores us to relationship and ministry when we feel all we should be doing is going fishing.

It’s hard for us to do this. Others struggle with allowing us to be restored.

We don’t want to dance after messing up.
We feel unworthy to worship wet.
We want to give up on leadership and go fishing. If we have never felt this way, we have not been in leadership very long.

Has checking out worked? Did it really improve things?

Right after the disciples went backwards, God shows up and fixed breakfast! He didn’t even need the fish! He had his own

You are not needed in the kingdom of God, you are wanted.

Are we checked out fishing? God will come to us every time.

“Come” to me all who are weary, discouraged, and soaking wet from failure.

I so needed to hear this.

Through weariness and discouragement, there were areas of my life where I had checked out. I needed to hear God say, “get back in the game.” Worship wet!

If you’ve checked out, and have gone fishing, (whether in ministry, leadership, parenting, or our personal lives),

God says “Come” (back)

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A missionary teacher for 24 years currently living in South Africa. I am a recovering superhero, daily in need of the grace of God