It’s Simply Not About the Fish or the Work

Recently we’ve been filling our nets with wisdom from the story of Jesus calling Simon found in Luke 5:1-11. This post follows Simple Encouragement  When Work Fails and Courage to Simply Try Again When Work Fails.

Venture into the deep with Jesus

This story is about far more than the work.

And it’s not just about the fish. Not really.

He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.” When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink.–Luke 5:4-7

Blessings to share.

Very rarely is it just about us. Christ has been directing this entire encounter, which fills the boats of Simon and his partners.

So many times I have read this familiar story, focusing on the work and the fish. I have often approached this story from the perspective of God’s provision and ability.

It’s easy to get enamored with the big catch. I’ve done that. I’ve asked God to enter my boat and I’ve trusted Him for results with work that seems fruitless. When I’ve come up with nothing, I’ve asked for Him to fill my nets. And I squint into the sun, scanning the empty horizon for the fish to come.

More than Fish

The fish are a big part of the story, just as prayers we pray, work we do, and dreams we dream are a big part of our story.

But there’s more to it than that. So very much more.

Jesus enters into our needs and frustrations. He involves Himself in our daily work, he meets our needs and empowers our victories. However, when Jesus takes us into the deeps, it is not just about the fish.


 Better Than Answers

When Jesus speaks the power of His word into our need, it is not just about the answer. The catch itself wasn’t nearly as important as what it showed these fishermen about Jesus.

“But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon.”--Luke 5:8-10a

Jesus gives these humble men a revelation of his power and ability through doing something extraordinary in the middle of their ordinary. Right in the middle of the struggle.

Face to face with Christ, Simon experiences a more powerful understanding of who Christ is. The big catch makes it clear that they are standing in the presence of God.

  • When we’ve been to the deeps with Jesus, we learn more of who he is.
  • We also become more aware of our sin.
  • The deeper, revealed truths of God help us to see the hidden needs in ourselves.
  • They expand our faith, convict our sin, and humble our hearts.

So it’s not really about just the fish or the work, is it?

Reading this morning, I came across this post by Kellie Balarie of Purposeful Faith. If you are fighting discouragement today, be blessed with encouragement by her words in “Time to Give Up.

What speaks to your heart most in this post today?

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Joining in with other bloggers here: #RaRALinkUp, Three Word Wednesday, Coffee for Your Heart, and #TellHisStory.







  1. Thank you Ginger. I am reminded once again to look for God in the ordinary. I think I’ve been waiting for the big catch.

    • Ginger Harrington

      Yes, me too, my friend. I’m discovering that waiting for that big catch makes us very discontent and disheartened by the small daily successes. I’m praying for God to continue to give me His perspective and help me to fish for the best things.

  2. Ginger I have been hearing an echo lately, it’s not about numbers, or follows or comments, it’s about ministry. Am I doing what God calls me to do. Your writing today reminds me of this. I, we, must run our own race at the speed God sets. It’s all about Him and what He is doing in my life and the lives of those I minister too. Beautiful friend. ~visiting from #raralinkup

    • Ginger Harrington

      I agree completely. As writers and bloggers (and many other occupations I’m sure) we are so vulnerable to measuring value and worth based on the responses we can see. We need a frequent encouragement to rest the results in God’s hands. I love the way you worded it in your response. How I treasure connecting with you in this online neighborhood!

  3. Oh friend… I love that we are neighbors over at Kelly’s place today! And this: “He involves Himself in our daily work, he meets our needs, and empowers our victories.” So Much Amen! How He is active in our everyday life… how He is extraordinary in the middle of our ordinary! Yes! Let it be so, Lord!

    Love you, friend!

    • Ginger Harrington

      What pleasure to “see” your smiling face in this place today. You always light up the web with your joyful and creative spirit. Thank you for chiming in on this!

  4. Ah, yes! So often I forget that the ‘catch’ only reveals who and how big God is. Thank you for the reminder!

    • Ginger Harrington

      You said that so succinctly–reveals who and how big God is. I need this reminder so frequently. Thanks for stopping by today!

  5. You really struck a chord when you said it really is not about us or the big catch. It is for God’s glory and purpose. You have some gorgeous photos today that swept me along with the wise words of your teaching. Thank you and blessings!

    • Ginger Harrington

      Yes, it is for God’s glory and purpose. Amen and amen. The photos are from a recent rainy afternoon at Ft. Story, VA. Blessings Mary.

  6. That it’s not all about me..there is a bigger picture that God is putting together and I am just one small part. I pray that I keep this in the forefront on my mind and heart as I ask Him to work in my life. So I might see His actions in all. Thanks for this reminder. ♥

    • Ginger Harrington

      Praying that God encourages you with a glimpse of the beauty and scope of his work in and through your life! I find myself caught up in my own lane and challenges that it’s easy to forget God is working on the large scale as well as the small. Blessings today and thanks for visiting!

  7. Such a great reminder today. We spend so much time focused on the fish we sometimes miss the depth of the miracle. And this——“When Jesus does deep work in our lives, the blessing overflows into the lives of other people.” is what I need to remember. The deep work is worth it, not only for me, but for everyone I come across.

    • Ginger Harrington

      Sometimes, it’s easy to overlook this point, particularly when the deeps involve a difficult time. Ultimately the work Christ does in our hearts will overflow to those around us. Be encouraged in the work God is doing in your life today.

  8. I’ve been learning similar lessons through serving others. We may think we’re serving them but then God ends up blessing us through it. It overflows and builds relationships. It’s been a good thing for me to experience. Thanks for sharing this and linking up at #ThreeWordWednesday.

  9. This is some good teaching, Ginger “They expand our faith, convict our sin, and humble our hearts.”

    Thank you for stopping by my blog today and introducing yourself. I’m looking forward to meeting again.

    • Ginger Harrington

      Me too. Thanks for visiting. God certainly opened my eyes to many truths I had not seen in the passage. Blessings to you.

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