by: Staci Stallings
The idea of “filling” is very interesting. We understand it. We say, “I’m full” when we finish a meal. We take the trash out when it’s “full.” We look at our gas tank and think we need to “fill” it up again.
So “filling” is very basic to our existence.
That’s why it was interesting today that the Holy Spirit would talk to me about “filling” some more. My plan was to go on with the song, but apparently, we’re not done with this word.
The Scripture passage that the Holy Spirit brought to mind was the one in which Peter is out on the water fishing. It’s late, and they haven’t caught anything all day. One year during VBS, we did part of this scene with Peter on land, going through his nets to see what he’s caught. As I recall, he had an old boot, a bowling pin, someone’s old cell phone (I know, there weren’t cell phones OR bowling pins back then, but it makes the kids laugh and be engaged with the story).
Anyway, Peter was not very happy with his “catch.” He was muttering about where was Andrew and how Andrew was always late, how his brother had said he wanted to go into business with him, but now where was he. It was quite humorous.
The thing is as this thought streamed through my head, I realized how like Peter I am.
I mean, I’ve been out here “fishing,” and yes, sometimes my boat seems really full. Then there are other times when I’m just tired of working and working and working and not being… ful-filled. Get that?
Filled all the way to the top, overflowing?
That’s the way we are meant to live… filled to the top and overflowing, shaken and pressed down, until absolutely no more wonderful could possibly get in.
So why, as Christians are we not living there?
I think the story of Peter fishing tells us. It’s because we’re out there on our own. We’re doing, doing, doing–by ourselves, on our own power, in our own wisdom.
And to make a long story short, as Peter found out, that will NEVER fill our boat! We will fish and fish and fish, and still feel empty, still be empty.
Interestingly however, I have read many accounts of Godly people, people who are truly being led by God and are walking with Him, and one thing I’ve noticed over and over again is it wasn’t their circumstances that determined if their boat was filled or not.
It was their faith in the Person of Jesus Christ. It was knowing He was in the boat with them.
Good catch. Bad catch. Worked out or not. Having Jesus in the boat with them was what determined if they felt full-filled or completely empty.
In fact, I’ve known some people who from the outside looked like they had a pretty full boat but who inside were completely empty.
Don’t let that be you. Invite Jesus into your boat. Put the catch in His hands. Do what He says.
And whatever you catch, it will always “feel” and “be” enough!