On the last Sunday of 2018, I spent my final 3rd hour of church helping out in Primary. During the lesson, a sister in my ward was teaching the children the hymn, “Come, Follow Me.” In the process, she told them this story found in Luke, chapter 5:
4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.
6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.
7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.
8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken.
This wasn’t the first time I had heard or read this story, of course. But in those moments, surrounded by little children, at the tail end of 2018, I was captivated. God was speaking to me: Listen. Do you understand what I’m telling you?
These were experienced fishermen. They had been fishing all night with nothing to show for it. They had absolutely zero reason to believe that suddenly their luck would change because a wandering teacher appeared and told them to cast their nets back into the water.
Would the story have as much impact if Simon had already caught loads of fish before Jesus appeared? Probably not. Perhaps Jesus had even orchestrated their fruitless night of fishing to maximize the impact of the next day’s catch?
Perhaps the utter disaster of my first Zoloft weaning attempt wasn’t a failure at all? Perhaps it was orchestrated, in part, to give more impact to the next attempt? Experience has taught me that I can’t handle weaning off of my medication. My psychiatrist told me I would very likely need to take this medication for the rest of my life. I have “fished” for a cure, and I have come up with nothing.
That Sunday afternoon, I was Simon, sitting in my empty boat, familiar with the disappointment of toiling without success, and there was Jesus saying:
Just try again. This time it will be different. Trust me.”
If I trust Him, if I once again “let down my nets,” will I too see a miracle? Will I fall on my face, like Simon, utterly overwhelmed by the magnitude of the blessing poured upon me?
When I think about what it would be like to receive this gift I have longed for, I get choked up. I cry. My heart swells up, and I have to pull myself back, reign in all that euphoria waiting to burst out of me. It seems just too wonderful to ever be real, and it is so terrifying to even get my hopes up.
I’ve weaned down to 1/4 of my dose, and I’m launching my boat out into the deep, but I’m stalling. Not quite ready to throw those nets down again.
Will you pray for me? That I can have the faith to say, as Simon:
At thy word, I will let down the net.”