A Real Fish Story, Then and Now
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"He got into one of the boats, which was Simon's, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, "Launch out into the deep
and let down your nets for a catch." But Simon answered and said to Him, "Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net." And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.” Luke 5:3-7 (NKJV)
When you have six children and a limited income, you have to budget your money wisely, especially in the area of groceries. Appetites seem to increase whether the paycheck does or not! It was one of those weeks when the kids ate everything that wasn't nailed down. I had planned the menus out for the week and laid up what I thought I needed.
Unfortunately, a couple of extra between-meal snacks and some extra faces at the dinner table had pretty much depleted our pantry. I would have to wait until Monday to go grocery shopping. It would be okay though because it was Saturday and we didn't have a regular sit-down dinner on Saturday. Everyone was in and out all day so I allowed them to fix whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted.
It was late afternoon when I received a phone call from an old friend of mine. She was coming through town and wanted to stop by and see me in the evening. She and her five children would be there around dinnertime. I should fix dinner for them but I didn't see how I could. I searched through the cupboards to see what I could make. It looked pretty hopeless! There were four or five pounds of potatoes, a large bag of frozen corn, and a couple of cans of vegetables. No meat at all! What in the world could I fix?
Just then my son Steve came in with his friend Wayne. Wayne was like a big brother to Steve and spent almost as much time at our dinner table as the rest of the kids. I told them the situation. Wayne suggested they go down the road to the lake and try to catch some fish. I was desperate! I told them I would pray for the Lord to send the fish to them, just like he did for Peter. They left and I hit my knees!
"Lord, you said you would supply all our needs. I know this seems like a silly thing to be praying about but we really do need your help. Please cause the fish to be there for the boys to catch!"
There was nothing else to say, so I got up and went about preparing the little I had for dinner. Twenty minutes later I heard the boys coming up the driveway. They were laughing and shouting. At first I was upset because I thought they had not been serious about trying to catch some fish. What I saw when I went out to meet them is still hard to believe!
There they stood, with faces beaming, arms loaded with so many fish they could hardly carry them. They piled the fish; some on stringers; some in buckets; on the top of the picnic table. They said as soon as their lines hit the water, they got a bite. Again and again, until they could hardly reel them in fast enough. We counted the fish as we cleaned them and there were 33 fish!
If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes I wouldn't have believed it. Talk about your fish stories! It was a miracle! We fried them all and when my company came we not only had plenty to eat, but plenty to tell too!
Steve and Wayne went to the lake every Saturday for a couple of months, hoping to repeat the catch of that day. They never did. We have told the story many times. Some people believe us, others don't, but we know how faithful our God was to us that day, and we have continued to believe Him to meet all our needs and He has continued to amaze us with His goodness! So very grateful!
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