When Jesus was gathering his disciples, and inviting them to follow him, he took them away from their work. Simon, Andrew, James and John were fisherman. They were all in the middle of their work when Jesus interrupted and asked them to follow him. Simon and Andrew were casting a net into a lake, James and John were mending nets.
Finding hope in fishing nets
Picture a mended net. It is not new. It has been put to work, put to service for its owner. It has been worked hard, even to the point of breaking. It would be dirty having been brought in and out of a dirty lake, and filled with fish time and again. The repairs would be functional, not necessarily beautiful. It would make the net stronger, but messier.
When a net broke, the fishermen did not throw it away and get a new one. They mended it and in the end, it was stronger and more effective for catching fish.
The verb used here is used in another place as well. I think the connection is amazing.
The verb translated in Matthew as “to mend”, is found in Ephesians 4:12 and is translated “to equip.”
To equip is to mend.
God is equipping us to do ministry for him. What does that equipping look like? A lot like mending a net.
A mended Christian is not perfectly clean and pretty. I’m finding hope in that!
A mended Christian has reached breaking points and been repaired by the Fisherman. I’m finding hope in that!
A mended Christian might look like a mess. I’m finding hope in that!
A mended Christian is stronger because of her scars, brokenness, and healing. I’m finding hope in that!
This gives me so much hope. I am often a mess of brokenness, scars and breaking points. God is the perfect fisherman who can take those frayed edges and snapped ropes and tie them together to strengthen me. He does this so we can serve him better. I am ready for the next task he has for me because of the mending he has done in my life!
Have you seen God take brokenness and use it to strengthen you?