But Because You Say So, I Will...
Chan Gin Kai
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” 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.” (Luke 5:4-5)
As was his custom, Jesus tried to find time alone to pray. But the people found him by Lake Gennesaret, and the crowd built up quickly. When it got too crowded, he got into Simon Peter’s boat and put a little from shore, so that he could preach from the boat.
Simon had “worked hard all night”, and Jesus had already delayed his rest by using his boat as a pulpit. He had washed his nets clean, and Jesus wanted him to dirty them again. He and the other fishermen had caught nothing, and Jesus told him to go out and try one more time.
Many thoughts could have crossed Simon’s mind... I truly respect your knowledge of the scriptures, but if you don’t mind me being frank, I know more about fishing than you do. You’ve better chances of a good catch at night than in the daytime. Your loud preaching and the noisy crowd would have scared the fish away. Besides, I’m pretty tired too. It would have been perfectly understandable if Peter had felt that way. But that’s certainly not how he responded.
Simon’s reply convicts me, “But because you say so, I will...”
Faith is not the absence of doubts, but obedience despite the doubts.
Surrendering to God has always been one of my biggest struggles. Unless I learn to obey God despite my doubts, it’ll be impossible to draw closer to Him. It is easier to obey God when what He wants is aligned to what I want. But he is the Master, and I am supposed to align myself to His will. It is easier to trust God if I know His plans. But that goes against the very definition of trust, where confidence is to be placed in a person’s reliability and character, regardless of whether I know his plans. It is easier to give if I have energy, money and time. But to sacrifice when I don’t have spare resources is what God has called me to do.
I need to develop the attitude that Simon had towards Jesus; a humble and absolute obedience to God regardless of what I think or feel... I’ve tried and failed many times, but because you say so, I will try again. I don’t know how this is going to work, but because you say so, I will believe. My experience and knowledge tells me this doesn’t make sense, but because you say so, I will obey. I am drained and I need a break, but because you say so, I will give.
Simon obeyed despite his doubts, and had a miraculous catch of fish that was so overwhelming it almost broke his nets and sank his boat. More importantly, that was when his heart broke, and he opened up his heart to Jesus. “When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, ‘Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!’” (Luke 5:8)
We think we can trust God better if we know Him more, but we will only know Him better if we trust Him more.
Chan Gin Kai
Gin Kai is a film producer who believes in the power of media to inspire positive changes. He has spearheaded disaster relief and capacity building projects in impoverished communities across Asia. In church, he serves as a mentor to young professionals in the EDGE Ministry. He describes himself as "just a sinner who wants to get right with God".