Gospel Doctrine New Testament Lesson #6; Luke 4, Luke 5 and Matthew 10.
The breathless and sometimes sudden bursts of net breaking spiritual awakening are often the experiences of ordinary seekers. Casting nets with our Maker is a call to leave everything behind like Peter, James, and John for a new song.
Not unlike the early apostles, I fished long through the night before hearing the Savior’s call. Prayer, scripture study, writing, paying attention to my dreams, and time spent in meditation aided my journey. I asked questions and listened quietly for answers that didn’t come clearly for many months. Then as my nets broke with the abundance of the spiritual gifts I received, I heard a call to come home to my purpose.
Like nets, old hearts break for stronger, gentler hearts that can contain infinite love and power. Peter, James, and John were led to nets that could encircle their followers in the loving arms of the Savior, with boats to bear them through their ministry with Him. Our nets can be renewed as many times as necessary, and new boats will beckon us as we serve the Lord and learn of His love for us.
While other fishermen seemed happy to share in the abundance of Peter, James, and John, they knew not their hearts and the gifts of love already growing within them at the time of their calling. When the Savior read the scriptures to His fellow Nazarenes, they mocked Him because they knew Him only in the days of His youth when His ministry had not yet begun. “We know this man, his siblings, and his father’s occupation,” they said, little understanding that the stones He cut as a Nazarene “carpenter” little resembled to them the Rock of Salvation He had become.
Peter, James, and John trusted the call of their new Master little knowing the pain and rejection they would share with Him during their lifetime of service to Him. They glimpsed only pallidly the immeasurable beauty that fishing in this new way would bring.
Like Monet’s water lily paintings, every corner of my life fills with the Savior’s love, capturing His light in shades all around me. Through wind, water, earth, and sky, an unknown boat invites me to linger on the bow, watching broken nets gently give way. New colors light tired eyes with whispers of His love for me, and a Navajo prayer song fills my heart as we set sail: “Now I walk in beauty, beauty is before me, beauty is behind me, above and below me.” Although I little know what I will find as I leave old ways behind, the Savior’s beauty breaks forth as the morning in my heart.