Casting Nets

Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.
— Luke 22:31-32

 One would think that after Christ prayed/said this, Peter would have smooth sailing, right? Dude went on to deny him, and then went back to fishing for a while. I wonder if Peter had moments while fishing, when he thought, “Is Christ really powerful? After all, if Jesus claimed he had prayed for me, why did I still deny Him? How am I back here casting nets into the sea?” 

I think like this because I am Peter. When I pray and know Father has heard, I go ahead to tell him the exact solution I want. When the situation continues, as it often does, I start to wonder if He really heard me. Why am I still casting these nets?

I imagine that, to Peter, who had in all 4 gospel accounts affirmed his loyalty to Christ at the Last Supper, not denying Jesus would have been the answer to Jesus’ prayer. However, God was building him up for something bigger. He was strengthening him so that this small matter of a denial on the way to Calvary would show that the eventual depth of Peter’s faith and steadiness was not by his own power, but by the all-surpassing power of God.

Lakes and seas I’ve loved + a stranger’s legs.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
— 2 Corinthians 4:7

I love this matter with Peter because it is my reminder that when Holy Spirit has helped me to pray and Father has heard, my answer has been worked out and will manifest in the Father’s way and time. It is a reminder for the waiting periods that I don’t understand; periods when the answer has been worked out but I am still going through the process.

Jesus, on his way to the cross, felt anxiety and sorrow. He knew He would be raised, so He knew the end from the beginning. Yet, He prayed and agonised over it. I must always go through the process—and it will not always be smooth sailing, but I must know from the start the battle has been won. I draw strength and patience from knowing He is with me through the process.

Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience.
— Colossians 1:11

I am being strengthened even when I do not see the resolution. I am being strengthened to endure what is going on and to wait patiently for the full resolution. Often, I have found that the solution I ‘asked’ God to give me is inferior to what He has in mind. Peter clearly did not want to ‘deny Jesus’, but he did, and God was building a church to last for all times.

Waiting for His solution is always better.

Many times, I’ve mapped out what I believed would be a good resolution of a situation, only to find that in the waiting period, He works on other things in my life—attitude, skill, or relationship. Sometimes, the resolution of what I thought was the issue ends up being just a tiny fraction of the work He does. His ways are often different from what I envisaged.

Different, but better.