Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.”
I was with a group of students on a service trip several years ago. We were doing repairs on some houses that had been damaged by a hurricane. None of us was particularly skilled at what we were doing, but we had all volunteered to be there and to work as hard as we could. Though we weren’t the most skilled crew ever, we ended up accomplishing more than we were expected to. By the end of our stay, we all knew that God had blessed our efforts and had made us successful in what we did.
Though we did more work than we had imagined, our first response wasn’t like Peter’s. It wasn’t a response of fear. But, looking back, I think I can understand Peter’s reaction. He and the other fishermen had been working hard all night and hadn’t caught any fish. Then Jesus came along and told them to fish on the other side of the boat. The resulting catch almost sank their boats! That day Peter got a glimpse of who Jesus is and how powerful he is, and that made him afraid.
When God shows up, it can be frightening. When God works through us, it can be disorienting.
But Jesus’ response makes sense. Don’t be afraid that God is doing amazing things through you and around you. Instead, take the amazing things that God has done and show and tell others about them. Share the good news of God’s work and glorify him!
Lord and God, help us to respond to your work with excitement, not fear. And may we give you all the glory. Amen.