Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

EMPTY NETS
5/26/2015 12:00:01 AM by: Linda Wood Rondeau


 
Part of my job as a point-of-sales associate at a Jacksonville department store was to solicit store credit. Right or wrong, my employee evaluation is based upon how well I convince customers that a credit account is just what they need. Every store has its quota, and management keeps close tabs on credit totals. Most days, I met my expectations and maintained a top-ten score.
 
 

But not that day.

Due to special sales promotions, the store was hopping with customers. Associates were sounding their successes all around me. Congratulations went over the com system to everyone, it seemed, but me. I felt worthless. I’d done all I knew how to do and my nets were empty. To make matters worse, a supervisor came to my register. “Let me show you how to get credit.”
I wanted to quit…to close out my drawer and go home.
 
Then a little girl came by the register. She looked at me and smiled. The joy I felt through interacting with her reminded me of the many blessings my job offered…a chance to minister, to lighten a load with a smile and a promise to pray. God reminded me that my worth in His eyes has nothing to do with quantity, but rather availability. My spirits soared with the thought. 
 

Had I not been down, I would not have known the joy of being lifted up.

 
God reminded me about the apostle Peter’s bad fishing day. I imagine Peter was a fisherman among fishermen…noted for his big hauls. Not this day.  In Luke’s account of Peter’s call, Jesus saw the two boats. Perhaps other fishermen made fun of Peter’s empty nets.  
 
Then Jesus came and a large crowd followed him. He asked the fishermen to put the boats out a little from shore where He preached to the throng. When He said what needed to be said, He asked them to go to deeper waters and cast their nets. I suppose Peter thought the request was absurd. “We’ve been fishing all day and have caught nothing.”
 

But, because it was Jesus who asked, Peter reluctantly set a course as directed. 

 
Imagine his surprise when he caught so many, the boat nearly sunk from the weight of his haul. Then Jesus said something even more amazing. “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” Peter realized His worth to God did not equal the number of fish in his net. God had a more important role for Peter. And he dropped his nets and followed Jesus.
 
The thought occurred to me, that if it had not been for empty nets, Peter would not have known how wonderfully God can fill them.  
 
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV).
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