Just One More Time

one more time

Just One More Time

This phrase can have many different meanings to people, as it did for me before tonight. As I was praying, “Just one more time,” ran through my mind, and accompanying it were scriptures from the Bible, found in the book of Luke.
This book in the Bible tells the story of Jesus preaching by the water side. As He was preaching, he noticed two boats floating in the water and the owners of those boats cleaning their nets.
Jesus continued to preach, and then after a little while, he walked onto the boat of Simon and spoke. “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught,” Jesus said.
This might not have seemed an unordinary command under other circumstances. However, at this particular time, Simon, as well as the other fishermen, had been working hard all night long – having caught no fish. I can only imagine that these men were worn out and a little more than let down that their efforts were in vain. What was to make them believe they were to catch fish now?
Simon answered Jesus. “Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.”
As I thought on this story, I began to think of some of the situations currently occurring in my life. I realized I felt a lot like how I imagine the fishermen to have felt. I, by no means, have been out on a fishing trip; however, I have been tirelessly working hard, trying to find ways to get through the trials of my life. And, like the fishermen, I have made it through the night (many in fact) with my efforts having been to no avail.
I am now in the ‘morning after,’ cleaning of the proverbial nets stage. I think many can relate. That’s where you have done everything you know to do to take care of the problem. You have used up all of your lifelines, and your reserve tank is now empty.
That’s the place. That is where you may be sitting there, head in your hands, searching desperately to think of any last shred of hope you may have. Sound familiar now?
It is a place I know all-too-well. It is the place where Jesus found me tonight, and spoke to me, as He did to Simon. “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.” In other words … “try again … just one more time.”
I don’t believe Jesus is saying for us to try again, leaning on our efforts and our ways of making things happen. I believe what is being said is that we have toiled all night, many nights maybe, depending on ourselves or others around us to work things out. Now, the morning has come, we have found no solution, and we are cleaning up, packing up, and ready to go.
That is the perfect place for Jesus to work. It is the place where we unpack our gear, get back on the boat, set out to the deep waters, and throw our nets back into the same sea we just left behind. The only difference being that we are not leaning on ourselves, or others. We are wholly leaning on the word and promises of God.
“Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit saith the Lord of hosts,” Zechariah 4:6.
So, how did the rest of the story go for Simon and the other fishermen?
“And when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fish: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.”
In a matter of minutes, by acting on obedience and trust, these fishermen went from having caught no fish, to having more than enough to fill both ships.
Now, after having said all of that, I pose two questions.
One:  What would have happened if those men, tired and defeated, had refused to cast their nets just one more time?
Two:  What could happen, if we, being tired and defeated, decide to cast our nets just one more time? Leaning not on our own understanding, but trusting in the word of Jesus.
“Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.”
I have a feeling, biblically-based of course, that the weight of the blessing might just break right through our nets … leaving us as the fishermen were left … with more than enough!

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