“But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, ‘Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!’” -
Luke 5:8b (NASB)
Simon had been fishing all night, only to bring in empty nets. Discouragement over his profitless night likely settled in as he neared shore with the others. Then, the One whom everyone was following, the One who spoke wise words to the multitudes approached him. Give it another try, he persuaded. Doubtful, Simon followed the Master’s bidding. No sooner had he let down the nets than they were literally bursting at the seams with fish! He had to yell to his partners on the shore to come and help haul in the massive catch. Reality hit Simon like a ton of bricks! This wasn’t just a teacher of wise words. This was the Lord, Jesus Christ! Humility dropped him to Jesus’ feet proclaiming his unworthiness of such a great gift. He begged Jesus to depart from him, not wanting to stand before Him exposed by shame.
Sometimes, I feel very much like Simon. I feel so unworthy, not only to have the Lord’s blessings lavished upon me, but to even be in his presence, especially when I’ve sinned. Like a little child, I want to run and hide, almost in fear of his “Almighty-ness.” I don’t want to face Him in the ugliness of my sin. Ever feel that way?
Yet, our Lord replies, “Do not fear.” He wants us near Him in all of our brokenness and incompleteness. Not only does He forgive us and desire for us to come, but He also has a plan for us, just like Simon. “Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men,” Jesus told Simon. Wow! A broken and sinful fisherman was going to become a “fisher of men,” equipped by the Lord Himself.
Does “fear of unworthiness” ever keep you from drawing near to Jesus? Might you ever wrestle with the fact that He truly wants to use you, just as you are, with all your flaws and failures? He does, you know. His love for you is limitless, His mercies are new every morning, and His grace is never-ending. So, rather than retreating from Him in fear or shame, try running into His loving, forgiving, open arms, and see what awaits you!