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“So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.”-Luke 5:11 NIV
It the biggest haul of their fisherman careers, to be sure. Their boats were breaking because it was so large. And when they get to shore, they leave everything-- presumably, the fish as well-- and follow Jesus.
I know it might seem like I'm really harping on this idea of leaving everything to follow. I promise we will get to more stories of Peter than this! But sometimes I fear that we too often pass over this part, the "leave everything and follow" part, the take-the-bravest-step-of-your-life part, the moment-where-everything-is-radically-different-forever part. And sometimes I think it's easier to pass over it, because it's not something we are really comfortable with. It's a step beyond bravery we aren't willing to take.
So I used my built-in survey pool (aka dating apps) to ask another question: what's the bravest thing you've done in your life? Granted, it's an intense question to be asked by a complete stranger, so the lack of response was not altogether surprising. But the answers that I did get also left wanting. Most of them used a line akin to "swiping right" or "using this app" and it just made me sad. I'm trying to temper my judgment, but if that's the bravest thing you've ever done in LIFE, you have inevitably missed out on a lot of opportunities.
If we were to ask Peter that same question, I feel like he would struggle to limit it to one, but perhaps that day on the shore would be up there. Leaving that boat filled with the greatest catch of his life, to follow a man who was surely more than a man. His life changed irrevocably on that day. I don't know about you, but I want that to be my life. I think that following Jesus should be the bravest choice we make. And I imagine there was a great bit of excitement and joy that they felt as they left the boats ashore, believing that Jesus was going to turn them entire an entirely new kind of fisherman-- fishers of people. Yes, they left everything to follow. But they also gained everything by choosing Jesus. Their courage came not from themselves, but from Jesus. With him, they could do anything, and they would go on to do things greater than they ever could have imagined, through Christ alone. Don't you want that to be your answer, too?
Dear God, I spend a lot of time thinking about how I can be braver and more courageous, but I often separate it from my life with you. I pray that my life would be intertwined with your death and resurrection so closely that I would see my courage as not my own, but as you working through me. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Dig Deeper: What's the bravest thing you've done? How does your idea of bravery and your relationship with Jesus relate for you?