Tag Archives: Encouragement

A Child is Born

(Seasons Greetings from our home to yours)

Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV)
For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

The dusty road from Nazareth to Bethlehem was filled with weary travelers slowly making their way to their home town in response to the decree that had gone forth.

Luke 2:1-5 (NKJV) “And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered…..Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.”

Joseph must have tried his best to ease the discomfort that Mary was enduring, trying to protecting her from the rocky path and jostling crowds, for her time for the child that she was carrying, to be born, was imminent! The closer they drew to Bethlehem; Joseph’s thoughts were focused on quickly finding an Inn where Mary could finally rest and prepare for the birth of this special baby.

Then the unthinkable happen……… by the time they arrived, dusty, aching and totally exhausted from the long tedious journey there was not a room to be found in any Inns. Anxiety rose in Joseph’s heart as his mind raced…… someone had to open their hearts to them this night! Frantically he searched from Inn to Inn until finally an Innkeeper offered the only place where he had space……….they could make their beds from the straw in the stable and rest for the night with the animals that were being sheltered there!

What must have been going through young Mary’s mind and heart? How could she do this……how can she deliver her first born child in the inhospitable muck of a rough stable? Alone, forgotten with only her carpenter husband and a smoky lantern in attendance! She drew her cloak closer around her as she sunk into the makeshift bed of straw that Joseph had hastily piled up for her, shivering in fear as the pains of childbirth soon bore down upon her………..then she remembered…………the words of that angelic visitor…………

Luke 1:30-35 (NKJV) Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

Realization that the angel’s words were a fulfillment of the prophet Isaiah’s words, flooded Mary’s heart as her body contracted in pain in preparation for the birth of this “special child”.
She was not alone……….God was with her!
Soon her time to deliver was upon her and with a cry of joy; she wrapped her newborn son in bands of cloth and gently laid him in a feeding trough, filled with fresh straw.
Mary studied the face of her son; immediately her heart soared with indescribable rapture, for she was looking at the face of God in human flesh.
This tiny little one, so helpless and dependent on Mary’s loving care was the Lord of Lords; King of Kings come to earth in the form of man………!
Majesty in the midst of mundane…..
Holiness born in the filth of a crude stable ……….and yet……..a holy light fills this darkened place!
Mary reaches down and gently caresses the face of the infant-God, while her heart sings with rapturous exultation at the miracle of the Divine entrance into the lost and dying world!
Truly this was a HOLY NIGHT!

Glyn and I wish each of our family and friends scattered across the globe a truly blessed Christmas!


God Who Specializes in the Impossible

Blizzard in New York City

Blizzard in New York City

Mark 10:27 (NKJV) “But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”

In mid-1961 my parents returned to the States from Rhodesia, for a furlough. It coincided with my entering Holmes Bible Theological Seminary, in Greenville South Carolina. Trying to adjust to the cultural shock that I experienced is hard to even put into words. The last time we had visited the States as a family I was only eleven years old and was sent to live with my grandparents in a rough cabin with no running water or electricity, in the tiny village of Hatfield Point in New Brunswick, Canada. Now I was a young woman taking my first steps in preparing myself to follow the call of God on my life. The only culture I truly was comfortable in was life in Rhodesia, Africa and it was a far cry from the American culture I was thrust into!

Shortly after arriving in the States my Dad was asked to become the short term, Interim President of Long Island Bible Institute for several months, while a permanent President was selected.
The day arrived for the long journey from Long Island, New York to Greenville, South Carolina, for me to enroll as a freshman. Just as soon as my parents helped me get my room assignment, unload my luggage, they quickly said their good-byes, with promises of sending me a bus ticket for our Christmas break and then they were gone; before I had hardly caught my breath. I was on my own and it was “make or break” as far as I was concerned.

It did not take long to get into the rhythm of College life and before I knew it, I received a letter from my parents with a Greyhound Bus ticket to travel to Long Island for Christmas.
My room-mates were very protective of their “African missionary kid” so they filled my head full of “things to avoid when travelling alone” on the Greyhound Bus.
This would be my first experience taking a long trip on my own and they felt it their “Christian duty” to educate me in the ways of the world! The night before classes closed my two room-mates went over their “check list” with me and then dropped a bombshell. They asked me if I knew about “white slavery” in New York City! I had no idea what they were talking about and reminded them I had grown up under an “African rock”!
Before the night was over they had given me a blow by blow description of what happens when young women are taken into white slavery. By the time I boarded the bus, I was thoroughly convinced I was far safer living on a primitive Mission in the wilds of Africa than I was here in “civilized” America!

It was going to be a long overnight journey; I boarded at 5:00 PM and would not arrive at the Bus depot in New York City until noon the next day, where Dad would be waiting for me. I got myself settled in my seat just behind the driver and watched with interest the hive of activity outside the bus. A movement beside me caught my attention and I found a young, tired looking soldier starting to occupy the seat beside me.
Now what!!! My mind was whirling with questions. I thought that if I was too friendly I might give him the wrong signals but if I didn’t talk at all I would seem uncaring and rude! My room-mates had not told me that I might have a strange man sitting beside me!
Looking back now, I chuckle at my total innocence; and how easily, well-meaning room-mates, had actually unwittingly added to my anxiety level.
Thankfully the soldier greeted me politely, made some small talk and then explained he had just come off of a rigorous training stint and was starved for sleep. Once I heard that I relaxed a bit figuring he would be harmless as long as he stayed asleep!
The Greyhound Bus soon was on the highway and the hum of the wheels had a lulling effect on most of the passengers. Darkness fell, passengers pulled out blankets and pillows and settled down to try and get some sleep before the next stop. The soldier was sound asleep and his head kept falling onto my shoulder, so I took my pillow and wedged it between my shoulder and his head – at least he would sleep comfortably!
Eventually the bus driver roused us over the intercom, announcing we were coming to our first stop and recommended we all get off, stretch our legs and get something to eat. He also told us that we were going to be driving into a serious winter snow storm which would probably delay our arrival in New York by a few hours. I was not about to move from my seat; it had become my security place, but the young soldier insisted I get off and stretch my legs. He must have sensed I was scared to death and totally out of my element, so he assured me that he would stay with me inside the bus depot. Once inside he insisted on buying me a sandwich and warm bowl of soup.

Back on the bus we all trooped, like a bunch of sheep and settled down for the next leg of the journey. Rapidly the road conditions began to deteriorate and it was not long before we were driving into the teeth of a major blizzard. The bus was crawling, cars were sliding off the road; I seriously wondered if we were going to end up stuck in a snow bank.
The further we went the worse the driving conditions became, the bus driver’s disposition grew grumpier by the minute and passengers started grumbling in impatience. At this rate we were not going to be just a couple hours late but we would be fortunate if we made it at all!
The long night turned into a torturous battle with the elements and the anxiety level among the passengers rose with each spin of the wheels. The tension in the bus was tangible, frustration turned to genuine fear for our safety.

This was before the “cell phone” era, so I had no way of notifying my Dad that we were going to be VERY late arriving in New York City. As the morning light tried to make a dent through the driving snow we resigned ourselves to many more hours of slipping and sliding at a snail’s pace. Finally the lights of New York City became a welcoming glow on the now, dark horizon of nightfall. We were already 10 hours over-due!
The city was grid locked by the storm; actually it was impossible to see the high rise buildings just a block away because of the ferocity of the storm. The Greyhound Bus was scheduled to stop first at the main Port Authority and then as soon as passengers for this depot had disembarked it was to go to a second Bus depot which was the one where my Dad was meeting me.
There were no parking bays for the bus to unload its passengers; the place was in an uproar. With a curse that would make a sailor blush, the driver slid to a stop and shouted over the intercom that EVERYONE had to get off at this depot. Chaos erupted as people were grabbing for their bags, complaining bitterly to the driver and generally taking out their frustrations on anyone within earshot.

I was at a loss what to do. The driver was pulling passengers’ bags out and dumping them in the deep snow; I went over and began to plead with him to help me. I explained that I did not know where the second Bus Depot was and had no idea how to get there as I was a stranger to the city.
He turned and cursed at me, informing me I was on my own and that was that! He said I could try a subway train but I wasn’t getting help from him. I took exception to his use of foul language, so sharply responded that I did not even know what a subway was, as I had grown up in Africa and we did not have such things in my homeland!
By now my exchange with the driver was overheard by some of the passengers. A lady passenger stepped up, got in the driver’s face and in a strong New Yorker accent asked him what kind of man he was, to be treating a young lady seeking help, in such a course manner. A hot verbal exchange ensued until the driver stormed off and disappeared into the jostling mob, trying to crowd into the depot.

I was shaking with cold and terror. I was lost in a concrete jungle and had no way of contacting my parents. I could hear the words of my room-mates, like a screeching siren in my head, warning about “white slavery” and figured I was a prime target!!
The lady turned, grabbed my hand and said, “Come with me, I am going to help you!” Hanging tightly onto my trembling hand we slipped and slid through deep snow drifts into what was a dark alley. Now I was thoroughly convinced I was being captured into “white slavery”!
My rescuer told me not to be afraid; I felt as though she was reading my very thoughts! She explained to me that she lived in the city and she knew a shortcut between the skyscrapers where she could find a Taxi Cab. True to her word, we stepped out from the alley to a street lined with Yellow Cabs. She opened the door of the closest cab pushed me in first then got in beside me; instructing the Cab driver to take us to the 20th Street Bus Depot. It was slow going as the streets were clogged with snow drifts and abandoned cars but finally we arrived on the street where the 20th Street Bus Depot was. It was mobbed just like the Port Authority; the crowd was pushing, shoving and yelling as they tried to squeeze into the building. The Cab driver turned and informed us that this was as far as he was going. Instantly my rescuer told the driver he needed to be ashamed of himself; treating the daughter of a missionary couple with no regard for my safety. She told him to take me into the bus depot and stay with me until he found my Dad. The driver protested that no New York cabby leaves his Cab unprotected as he would be asking to get robbed.
The lady assured him that he could trust her and she would be waiting in his cab when he returned. Amazingly he responded, jumped out the cab, told me to hang onto his hand and not let go, otherwise I would get swallowed up by the angry mob. Somehow he pushed his way through the crowd until we were inside the building. The line at the ticket counter was endless; the crowd was packed in so tightly that a lady fainted in front of us and couldn’t even crumple to the floor. The cab driver ignored the jabs and curses of the people as he forced his way to the front of the line. To this day I don’t know what he told the clerk behind the counter but immediately the loudspeaker in the building began to page “Reverend Wilson to come immediately to the ticket counter”.
I scanned the faces of the crowd to no avail, just as I was about to give up hope, I saw the top of a balding head that I knew only too well. In a matter of minutes the nightmare was over; I was engulfed in my father’s strong arms. Dad asked the Cab driver if he could pay him but he shook his head, smiled and said that he had an “angel in disguise” waiting in his cab and with that he melted into the crowd.

Dad had waited over 12 hours, checking each bus that arrived, to no avail; finally he realized that it would take a miracle of God putting the right people in the right places, to help him find me. He asked God for that miracle and God came through in the form of a compassionate lady and a trusting New York Cab driver.

Never be afraid to ask God for the “impossible” even when your situation looks completely beyond help, as God is true to His Word.
He has promised never to leave His children or forsake them.
Our God is a God who specializes in the impossible!


Heaven Grows Sweeter by the Day.

African dawn at saltpans in Botswana

Baobab tree


The following Nugget is a personal testimony of an experience I had and I feel prompted to share it today. For many of our peers it seems we are seeing dear friends and loved ones take the final step into the portals of Heaven. As strange as this might sound to my readers, for me personally, heaven grows sweeter by the day! Come sit with me as I share this experience.

On September 8, 2009 I underwent eye surgery that required an anesthetic. While under the anesthetic my brain stem reacted to the drugs that were being administered and the subsequent results were that I suffered multiple “mini strokes” over a period of 7 days plus the brain stem kept malfunctioning and sending negative electrical charges to all the nerve endings in my brain causing the most excruciating and debilitating pain in my head.
I was re-admitted to the hospital for emergency intervention and on the night I was most critical I was lying awake trying to focus on scripture verses that would strengthen my faith. I began to muse what leaving this world of pain and trouble and taking wings to my eternal home, was really going to be like. I drifted into a pain filled half sleep and the following account was a “dream” I experienced:

I suddenly became aware that I had left my bed and my pain wracked body was floating with absolute lightness. Wholeness and vitality rushed through my being with such force that I felt I could take wings and fly. I sensed a Divine Presence walking with me. I knew it was the Lord, as His comforting Presence totally enveloped me. I looked around and found I was standing in a beautiful valley surrounded by majestic mountains.
The valley was lush beyond human description! My eyes were experiencing a sensory overload from the beauty that lay before me.
The valley floor was covered with flowers of every color and description. It appeared that the Master Gardener had sprinkled flowers with gay abandon throughout the valley, yet all the colors and flowers were in total harmony.
The air was filled with the sounds of bird songs; once again their musical calls were in total harmony.

I was struck with the over-riding sense of total peace and tranquility that completely invaded every corner of the valley which began to permeate my very being.
There was nothing in that valley that spoke of strife, discord or the clamor that fills our earthly world.

The Lord took my hand and said, “Welcome home Norma, we have been waiting for you. Come walk with me as I have some people who are waiting for you.”
I became aware of a small group of individuals standing some distance from me and we began to walk towards them. Their bodies seemed to be translucent yet I began to clearly see their faces. Gone were the ravages of disease and age on their faces. Glowing health radiated from them.
Joy whelmed up within me like a bubbling brook as I realized I was looking at my mother, my father, my husband’s mother and father.
I began to run towards them and then noticed that in my mother’s arms was an infant. I let out a cry of joy as I realized that my mother was holding our infant son, Gary Anthony, who never lived long enough to see his first sunrise.
Our reunion was ecstatic and joyous! Mother placed Gary in my arms and I began to run my fingers through his curly hair, his face had lost the “waxy-like death pallor” that I remembered the moment he was drawing his last breath. His little cheeks were the picture of health; he too seemed to have a translucent body but I was very aware of feeling him in my arms.
The empty void of my aching arms for the infant son we lost 36 years ago was gone instantly and the mother’s heart in me was whole again.
The family kept asking me why I had taken so long to come and they told me that they had been waiting for me.

Suddenly I became aware that my earthly attachments were fading fast. I had absolutely no desire to return to this world filled with its pain and toil. It seemed as though my focus and vision had moved to an eternal focus instead of an earthly focus. I had absolutely no desire to leave this valley of total peace and tranquility. I turned to the Lord and asked him if I had to go back and He said, “My child you have come home, but you must return as I have more work for you”.

At that instant I became aware of my earthly surroundings, I heard myself whispering in my half sleep, “I’ve come home! I’ve come home!”
Then reality set in as the wracking pain tore through my head and I realized I was still in this earthly body and obviously had been dreaming.

Peace filled my soul though as I felt that God in His mercy had, for a few seconds, lifted the curtain and given me a glimpse of the glory that awaits the child of God.
The peace and tranquility of heaven transcends anything we can even begin to compare with here on earth. A child of God should never fear the dying process as, glory beyond our wildest imaginations; await us on the other shore.
I carry in my heart continually now, the comforting assurance that I can look forward to the day when I can “go rest high on that mountain, when my work on earth is done!”
Yes, “heaven grows sweeter by the day”!

Philippians 1:21-24 (NKJV) “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.”


The Rewards of Trusting God

Balancing Rocks, Rhodesia(Iconic Balancing Rocks in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe taken by my hubby)

Romans 8:28 (NKJV) “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

This is probably one of the most quoted passage of scripture; I am sure at one time or another we have quoted it in our walk with God.
My question today is; “How does this verse of scripture uphold us, when troubles roll in like a raging river, ripping apart everything we hold dear?”

Consider this:
As believers in Jesus, we aren’t promised a bed of roses. But, we do have the assurance that God is working out all things for our good (Romans 8:28), even when the ride isn’t completely smooth. Sometimes, though, we hit a rocky stretch that just won’t let up.
What do we do then?

It’s easy to hold on to God’s promises initially. But even the best of us have days when our faith wavers just a wee bit, when that little speck of doubt flies in, when discouragement seems to weigh us down. Even the big hero of faith, Abraham, had his moments of shaky faith.
It’s in moments like these that we have two options: to think we’ve failed and condemn ourselves, or to hold on to God’s Word, get back up and be strong, while the dirt road appears never ending.

If there’s anything I’ve learnt from the hard times, it’s to not beat myself up over those days when I’m unsure of how things will turn out.
How can I say this? The answer is simple.
God doesn’t count those days of my wavering faith.
Instead God looks and remembers the times I trusted, endured, and came out victorious!

If God were to publish the story of our lives for all to read; it would read something like this…….
In His version of our story, we are mighty men and woman of faith!
He will count us with the heroes of faith like Abraham!
God doesn’t condemn us or count the number of times we wavered.
He doesn’t measure our faith against our moments of doubt.
He credits our faith as righteousness as He did with Abraham.

Genesis 15:6 (NKJV) (And he (Abraham) believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

I don’t know about you, but that sounds like seriously exciting news to me.
Think of all the times you’ve trusted God and believed Him to come through for you. That’s righteousness!
This gives me total assurance that during the unexplainable trials that overwhelm my life’s journey I can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God IS AND WILL work for my good!


A Rose for a Stone

(My rose taken by Terry Griffin

(My antique Eleanor Roosevelt Rose taken by Terry Griffin)


On Sunday May 7th. Glyn discovered he was bleeding from his kidneys. Little did we know that this would launch us on an emotional and physical roller coaster ride that nightmares are made of!
I was recovering from my second surgery to my hands, so had very little strength and was restricted to only very light household duties.
Each new day dawned with one unexpected complication after another! There seem to be absolutely “no light at the end of the very dark tunnel” that we were stumbling through!
The kindness of neighbors, our Pastor Richard Orrell, friends living here in Springfield and our children Bruce & Donna-Mae Washburn, all came “alongside” and steadied us when we felt we could not take another step. Added to that we were lifted in prayer by dozens of friends and family, literally across the entire globe! The gates of Heaven were shaken by intercession of God’s children on our behalf!

Two surgeries have passed since that Sunday six weeks ago and Glyn is still passing stones! Yesterday he passed stone #10!! I am beginning to think he is growing the “Rock of Gibraltar” in his left kidney!
I was starting to wonder if it was not time to ask for a “second opinion”; then the Lord reminded me that He knew exactly what we were going through and His “opinion” and “solution” was the only one that really matters!
The Lord reminded me that if we will but believe His Word, during these seasons of driving rains of trial, we would see the Hand of God molding us and growing spiritual roses of such fragrance and beauty in our lives!
Without these times of bitter trials where our darkened path seems filled with jagged stones we would never grow these roses of beauty, to minister God’s grace to others suffering deep trials.

Indeed, we all are lashed by the harsh storms of life.
Don’t focus on the storm but focus on the fragrant roses God is growing in our lives!
Yes, we are pained by the time of testing. But remember, God sees the sweet rose of faith which is springing up in our lives under those very trials.

This verse of scripture brings such hope:
“For God hath made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.” (Gen. 41:52.)

Yesterday, a dear friend Terry Griffin, took me to pick up some groceries and when we returned I was showing her one of my treasured rose bushes. The fragrance is so sweet and it blooms through-out the summer storms that we have here in the Ozarks.
God used this very rose to remind me to not falter in the storms of life and birthed this Nugget in my heart!


A Trilogy of Triumph

Ele imitating each other by Michael North Imagery

(Elephant family by Michael North Imagery – used with permission)


Our lives are regulated by times and dates. Before the proliferation of electronic gadgets many people carried a small “date minder” with them to write down appointments, dates to remember, birth dates, wedding dates, anniversary dates, dates projects are due, vacation dates plus a whole host of other dates.  Some dates come and go and its events are never thought about again, other dates are etched into our memory down to the most infinitesimal detail never to be forgotten.

My husband and I have many dates we can recall but there is one that stands out like a defining landmark in our lives……..the date is April 20th.

A trilogy of miraculous events over a period of years in our lives; has happened on this date. Let me pick up the thread of these amazing God-ordered events beginning with the birth of our second son, Gary Anthony at the Gatooma Hospital in Rhodesia. (Zimbabwe)

Gary did not live to see his first sunrise and Glyn had the heart wrenching task of burying our infant son all alone.  Then a series of medical errors left us with the diagnosis that we would never be able to have any more children.  Even though this was a huge heart-ache we knew that Lord had our future steps in His Hands and we were content to trust Him.  We focused on our calling as missionaries and poured ourselves into the lives of the African people that God had placed us among. Five years passed; then during a routine checkup my doctor told me that he had some amazing news for me. I was six weeks pregnant and did not even know it!

Our beautiful daughter, God’s gift to us, was born on April 20, 1971 at the Lady Chancellor Maternity Home in Salisbury (Harare) Rhodesia (Zimbabwe).  Our cup of joy was running over and we knew God had intervened and over-ruled the medical mistakes.

Seventeen years passed and April 20, 1993 arrived but instead of celebrating her birthday, Donna-Mae sat with her Dad and many church members of our congregation in the hospital surgery waiting room in Lowville, New York waiting for news about me. Before long the surgeon broke the news to them that I had Cancer and would undergo a Radical Mastectomy the next morning. Not exactly a birthday that any seventeen-year-old wants to have to remember. The prognosis for my length of life, even with treatment was poor. Once again Glyn and I turned to God knowing that “my times” were in His hands.  God was the only One who would make the final decision, whether I would out live the medical prognosis or not. So, I was determined to live each day as a “gift of life” from God.  Friends that was 24 years ago today and God is still giving me breath!

Another twenty years passed and on April 20, 2013; I stood in the delivery room filled with wonder and feeling as though my heart would burst, as I shared with Bruce and our daughter, Donna-Mae, give birth to their third child, also another miraculous gift from God!

As I stood in the delivery room cradling this precious new life in my arms, drinking in the perfect face of our little Owen; the empty void in my heart, that I had carried since our son Gary Anthony had slipped away, was once again filled. I felt like Naomi of old, must have felt when she held Obed in her empty arms and those around declared to her: “….. may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age;……” Ruth 4:15 (NKJV) Our little “buddy” certainly has been a restorer of our old age.

A trilogy of events on April 20th stretched over 37 years; each one standing as a landmark of a miracle of life from God’s abundant mercy to us!

For the child of God, the path that we walk is illuminated by His Divine love which pierces the shadows that continually press in around us. His shining love shepherds our footsteps even in the darkest of hours.  Listen to His promise to us in the words of the Psalmist:

Psalm 32:7-8 (NKJV) “You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.”

What have we to fear? We can walk with confidence in the journey of life as God will lead us. The Lord will surround us with “songs of deliverance” during our deepest times of testing. His very personal interest and care for His children is reflected in the fact that “He guides us with His Eye….”


I draw intense comfort from this image as it means that God is intricately involved and focused on every facet of my life; NEVER letting me out of His sight!

Yes, these “dates of triumph” are glorious memorial stones reminding us that no matter what our tomorrows hold, we have nothing to fear for our God WILL ensure His best plan for our lives.



Trusting God’s Leading



Luke 5:1-6 (NKJV)  “So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”  But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.”  And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.”

For a few minutes, I would like you to put yourself in the disciple’s shoes and Peter’s shoes.

Imagine you have literally toiled all night out of the rough waters of Lake Gennesaret attempting to catch a large amount of fish so sell at the fish market. Yet no matter how hard you plied your greatest skill; or moving your fishing vessel; your nets still came up empty. The early rays of morning light began to pierce the night skies. Exhausted, frustrated and discouraged you head back to shore to wash your nets, knowing that there would be no profit from your long night’s labor.

About the time, you have pulled the heavy nets from your boat and set to work washing them, along comes Jesus and He borrows your boat and puts it out in the waters near the shore in-order to avoid the crush of people waiting to hear Him teach.  Once Jesus has finished teaching he turns to you and asks you to do something that is unthinkable to your exhausted body and mind.

How would you responded to the Lord’s command to re-launch your boat into the deep water and catch a boat-load of fish, considering the frustrating unsuccessful night you had just experienced?

I know what I would probably say!

My answer would be something like this; “You have to be kidding me Lord! The shoals of fish have avoided my net all night long and do you think for one minute anything would have changed? Obviously, Lord, this is not a fruitful time to fish!”

Peter answered the Lord’s command in a similar fashion EXCEPT for his declaration of trust when he said; “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless, at Your word I will let down the net.” (Luke 5:5)

The result of Peter’s declaration of faith and trust in the Lord command, was that they caught so many fish their nets were full to breaking point.

What a lesson for us to learn from this passage in Luke chapter 5!

The real test of our faith comes when nothing we’ve tried has worked, and God tells us to do something that stretches our faith to its limit. At that point, we have two choices: Give in to our doubts, or say with Peter, “Because You say so, I will.”

This account in the scriptures teaches us God works in three ways:

Firstly, God uses the common to do the uncommon.

Jesus commanded them to trust Him in their workplace where nothing special had happened; but then the miraculous happened and this changed their lives.  So too we need to look for God in our daily routine, and don’t be surprised when He surprises us.

Secondly God moves us out from the security of the shallow to the risks of the deep.

By this I mean that the great catches and the great storms are BOTH in the same sea. If we want one, we must contend with the other. No risk, no reward.

Thirdly God involves us in one lesson in-order to teach us another.

Christ’s plan for these men was to involve them in an even greater miracle: fishing for souls.

Today during these last days of time God is calling us to step out in faith and trust to “fish for the souls” of hurting mankind.

This can only BEGIN though, when we say as Peter did, “Lord, because You say so, I will.”