What’s stopping you?

Are you involved in a ministry or service that needs a resurrection? Perhaps you’ve been working on something for a long time and have not yet succeeded. Does it seem like your efforts are pointless, fruitless? Where has progress been too slow or too lethargic? Are you hedged in and unable to do what you believe you’re called to do? Is it time to cast your net over the other side of the boat, as in our Gospel reading (Luke 24:35-48)?

In the first reading, Peter and John experience the first roadblock in their preaching ministry. They are put into prison because someone wants to stop them. The next day, they will be ordered by the authorities to never mention Jesus publicly again.

Would this have stopped you? What is stopping you now?

Peter and John knew that when it comes to doing God’s will, there’s no such thing as an insurmountable obstacle. They could easily recall two incidents of fishing all night without success and then catching an abundance because they had obeyed Jesus.

Our only true obstacle is our lack of endurance. In reality, when we’re tired and we think that we’ve failed, we’re actually in the middle of building up to a great success that’s far more wonderful than we can imagine. It might not be the outcome we’re expecting, it might not be in the direction we started, but it will happen just as surely as Peter and John were released from prison to continue fulfilling God’s plans — if we persist in following Jesus.

Usually, he tells us to do something that does not make sense or feels very uncomfortable. Jesus told the disciples to fish in the very same waters where they had already cast their nets unproductively! What difference did it make to try the other side of the boat? It was uncomfortable to change, because they had developed muscles and a good working pattern of swinging the net one way. The advice Jesus gave them was like telling a right-handed artist to paint with his left hand in order to produce a masterpiece.

Are you ready to try something that doesn’t make sense? Go ahead and do whatever will stretch you beyond what feels logical and comfortable. If it seems like a “wrong” direction, but the “right” direction hasn’t been working, as long as it doesn’t conflict with scripture or Church teaching, go ahead and assume that it is Jesus talking to you. Move boldly into it and trust that if you’re making another mistake, God will get your attention and redirect you again.

© 2016 by Terry A. Modica

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