It must be human nature. We seem to have to try our way first (and sometimes second, third, etc.) before we finally get frustrated enough to get out of the way and let Jesus tell us what to do. Something in us rebels against trying His way first. We know in our heads that His way is the best way, and yet we insist on trying it our way. I have come to the conclusion that, for me, it is simply a matter of trust. Do I really trust that His way is THE best way for me? Do I trust His heart to ALWAYS lead me to a better place? Do I really believe that His sovereign will for my life IS better than the one I imagine for myself?
In marriage, this tendency is played out every day. Did God really created this one and only woman for me (or could there have been another)? Does He really expect me to “love her as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”, when He knows full well she is SO hard to love sometimes? Does God really have an adventure-filled mission for my wife and I together, even though I can’t see any signs of it now?
Being a husband, provider, protector, shepherd, lover, friend to a single woman for a lifetime – is a seemingly impossible task. How do we ever figure it out? How do I do this, and do it well? There are so many other important things pulling at me every day – my job, my future, my friends, my health, my enjoyment, my retirement, my advancement, etc., etc.
I love the story in Luke, Chapter 5, of Jesus’ encounter with a group of rugged, rednecked fishermen. Read this again – When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.”
When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!”
These guys, who knew their craft well, had fished all night long – and caught zippo. Here comes Jesus, a carpenter, and He tells them where to fish. Can you imagine their first thoughts? In spite of those cynical thoughts, they tried one more time, and did what He said. Wow – what a different result. Not just a dozen or so fish – which would have been lesson enough – but a boat load!
If we could ever get to the place where we asked Jesus “where to fish” in the first place, and then obeyed what He said, we would see His abundant provision in our lives, and in our marriages, like never before. Jesus never does anything half-way. They needed fish – they obeyed what He said – they got so many their boat began to sink. God is a God of abundance – a God of extravagance. He promises to do “above and beyond all we can ask or even think” if we will but trust Him.
What are the needs in your life and in your marriage right now? Where have you been “fishing” for answers?
Trust God and His goodness. He desires to shower you with His kindness, His love, and His provision. He knows where to fish, but we have to ask, and obey, in order to see our boat filled.
Try Him first this time.