Most of us are familiar with the scene in the Bible where Jesus calls his first two disciples, Peter and Andrew. What had begun as an ordinary day on the lake for these two brothers ended in a rather unordinary way. When Jesus found them, they were washing their nets most likely to get the sea sludge off so that they could return them to the water the next day in hopes of a big catch.
Experienced fishermen and skilled on the deep waters, Peter and Andrew probably believed that they would spend the rest of their lives casting and reeling. The sea was their home, their comfort zone. They had no reason to leave.
Then, Jesus showed up. And, with thirteen words, they left it all behind.
“Come, follow me, and I will send you out to fish for people.” Mark 1:17
Scripture says that they immediately dropped their nets and followed him.
No questions. No hesitations. No wavering back and forth. No goodbyes. No going home to pack a suitcase.
Empty-handed, they followed Him. And, they would go on to follow Him for the rest of their lives.
I have always admired Peter and Andrew’s eagerness to follow Jesus. I have often wondered if I would have done the same if Jesus had found me on the shores of Galilee with net in hand, mouths at home to feed, and the comforts of the sea calling. Would I drop my net just like that at the sound of His command to come? Or, would I clutch my net closely to my chest and tell Him, “Wait!” or “Hold on!” or “I Can’t!”
Would I have the faith to drop everything or would fear keep my feet affixed to the seashore? To this question, I had no way of knowing the answer.
Then, this past spring, on an ordinarily average day, the Lord made the call. He said to my husband and I, “Come, follow me.” And, in that split second response time, the answer to the question that had nagged at me for years came. I looked down...and our hands were empty.
Just like that, we dropped our nets.
Like Simon and Andrew, we weren’t expecting this call. We were quite comfortable where we were. Almost too comfortable. But, when the call came, we just knew it was time to go. I can’t explain it any other way.
The Lord has called us out of the small group (aka our comfort zone) that we are currently thriving in. Life is good in this group. They are the reason why I went from having no friends to having a whole group of friends. Yes, they know where my silverware drawer is. And, they pray for me. They love my children as their own. They enrich our marriage by modeling the love of Christ in their own. They remember my birthday (and celebrate it in grand fashion). They cry with me, sharpen me, sit with me at ballgames, make me belly laugh, and love me bigger, deeper, and wider than any friends have ever loved me before.
Simply put, they have breathed a tremendous amount of life into us.
And now, we are saying hard goodbyes to them. Why? Because we know that the Lord has another group for us. He has called us to a very specific work that cannot be achieved elsewhere. It is also a work that we are all too familiar with: the work of restoring broken lives.
Most of you don't know our story so I'll give it to you in a nutshell:
Once upon a time, a broken boy married a broken girl and together they had a very broken marriage. Hopeless is what some called it. There was only one thing that could save it and His name was Jesus. After many years and feeble attempts of trying to fix it on our own, we finally reached out to Him. And, He reached back to us.
Jesus was the only answer and the only hope for saving our marriage. With His tender touch, He slowly began to put all the broken pieces back together again. My husband and I are now whole, no longer broken. Praise God! But, we realize that there are so many couples out there who remain broken. They are broken and they, too, need hope of being put back together again.
Enter this call and the reason why we immediately dropped our nets.
If our story can save a marriage, sign us up. If small group now looks more like open heart surgery, sign us up. If our home welcomes the couple who is hanging on by a thread, sign us up. If we need to strip off our Sunday School masks and be real, sign us up. If it requires leaving the shallow waters behind and diving into the deep end, sign us up. Whatever it takes, we say, “Yes, Lord. Sign us up.”
We are ready to help carry heavy loads. I want to get a sign for our wall that says, “Your brokenness doesn’t scare us.” And, the reason that it doesn’t scare us is because we’ve been broken, too.
Since that call, the Lord has been moving with great precision and intention in the likes that I have never seen Him move before. Watching Him work, when the only thing that we have contributed thus far have been our “yeses,” has already increased our faith. We have teamed up with another couple who have been as equally broken and as beautifully put back together as we have been. And, their hearts are set on the same thing that ours is set on: the revival and enrichment of marriages.
I sat on my front porch the other day and asked Him, “Why Lord? Why have you been so clear with this calling?” It sounds like a silly thing to ask Him. Don’t we love clarity? Don’t we especially love clarity when it comes to what God’s will for us is?
I can’t say why for sure, but I believe the Lord has given us such clarity, so much that we can trace the deliberate movements of His Hand throughout the past six months since the call was issued, because He is working on a rescue plan for the wives and husbands who are silently crying out to Him right now. They don’t know if there’s any hope for them left. And, He is calling us forth to tell them, “Yes, there is. Just look at us.”
To my local friends, if your marriage is broken…or if it simply needs refocused, refined, or recommitted…pray about dropping your own nets and following Christ as He leads us on this great pursuit to marital hope and wholeness. Our small group will begin meeting on Sunday nights starting mid-October from 5-7pm. Childcare is provided.
To my distant friends, I so wish you could come, too. But, since you can't, I encourage you to find a group or a couple who isn't afraid of your brokenness either and who can guide you well. I can promise you one thing...there is hope. Never give up.
First, I am a child of God. And, like a child, I am always learning and growing. The more I know Him, the more I love Him. Second, I am a wife to a good man. Missions is his thing while teaching women to love God’s Word is mine. Third, I am a mama to three plus a sweet cockapoo who thinks he’s #4. My children are my ongoing sanctification. Fourth, I am a passionate advocate of all things healthy & natural and a dreamer/designer. Old friends call me Becky, newer ones call me Rebecca, and the most intimate ones call me Beck. You can just call me friend.
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