He said to Simon, "Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch." Simon answered, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because You say so, I will let down the nets." When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. Luke 5:4-6
Many years ago, I found myself serving my own congregation—Bethesda, in Hot Springs, South Dakota—as well as three other vacancy churches. Making the rounds proved quite a challenge. One particular day my alarm failed to go off, which is another way of confessing I turned it off and fell back to sleep. In my haste to make up lost time, I stubbed my toe. As I hobbled to my car, I noticed the right front tire was low. I had to stop at a gas station. Disgusted, I put the pedal to the metal. In record time, I made it to my first stop. I blew into town, failing to notice a stop sign posted at the city limits. The policeman parked there was more observant. Within a block there were flashing lights in my rearview mirror. He was kind enough not to use his siren.
I jumped out of the car and stomped to his vehicle. I was displeased at the idea of a ticket; displeased at being made later than I already was. I grabbed my license from my wallet and mumbled something like, “Go ahead. Give me a ticket. Everything else is going wrong today.” The policeman said in the kind of calm voice that I think policepersons practice for use on hot heads such as me, “Sir, I know just what you mean. I used to have days like that before I became a Christian.”
I wish I could have done that day over. And, although Peter did what the Lord asked in the text above, I know he had more than a few “do-over” days. There was the time he fell asleep in Gethsemane, the night he denied knowing Jesus, or the time he sank on the Sea of Galilee. Peter, me, you. We’ve all had “do-over” days.
One of the great joys for a Christian is the knowledge that Jesus comes to us and forgives us—especially on our “do-over” days. When we stumble, He picks us up. When we fall into sin, He brushes us off and sets us back on the right path. When we make a mess of things, He restores order, peace, and gives us joy. It’s an important thing for Christians to hold onto, especially the next time they have a “do-over” day.
Excerpt from The Lutheran Hour sermon preached on February 8, 2004
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for giving me Your grace on my "do-over" days. I trust in Your love when I stumble and make a mess of things. Help me to walk in Your path. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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