Weekly Devotion – John 21:5-6

Published 3:20 pm Wednesday, November 30, 2022

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By Mike Caton

John 21:5-6, “He called out to them, ‘Friends, haven’t you any fish?’ ‘No,’ they answered. He said, ‘Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.’ When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.”

Don’t you hate doing something, having no success, and then having someone ask you about it? I’ve been skunked fishing more than once, and all you want to do is go home put your stuff up and not talk about it. And yet here is this guy hollering to them from the beach, asking if they have any fish. And when the admit defeat, he tells them to fish on the other side of the boat. Honestly, that seem like a dumb thing to say. The Lord gave fish tails and they can swim anywhere they want to. But it seems unlikely they will be on the other side of the boat. But why not? Nothing else has worked, they might as well try.

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And lo and behold, they catch so many fish they can’t even haul the net in! This is going to make a great fish story when Peter and these other guys are hanging around the dock. Don’t we love to tell those stories where things work out for the best? When we catch a load of fish, find the best deals shopping, stumble onto a great new restaurant, when everything just works out perfectly. Oh, that is a great feeling. Now we know who was behind this haul of fish: Jesus. But the disciples haven’t figured this out yet.

But it should come as no surprise that things always work out when we follow Jesus. That is not to say we always hit the mother lode. Christians face the same struggles and disappointments that everyone else does. But the difference is in how we deal with those things. I’m sure Peter, the experience fisherman, had tried all he knew to do, but had caught nothing. And yet when Jesus gave a simple, if somewhat unlikely, instruction, things miraculously worked out. And as Christians, haven’t you seen that happen before? When you do what Jesus says, you have the assurance things will be right in the end. Again, we might not understand things now, we might even be upset with how they work out, but we know God has a bigger plan in mind. And we need to trust him to carry it out.

Father, thank you for knowing far more than me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Mike Caton is the preacher at Mount Olive Church of Christ in Belhaven. He volunteers at the Ponzer Fire Department and works full time with Hyde County EMS. If you would like to receive daily devotions in your inbox, email mikecaton@centurylink.net.