Six weeks ago to this very day, I was in a boat crossing the Sea of Galilee in Israel. No kidding!

So it’s no wonder that Scripture comes even more alive for me now. I was right there. Every name, every place is now “in living color.” I can see it. Smell it. Hear the language and feel the warmth of the people. I took in the vast emptiness of the Wilderness, climbed ancient steps to temples and tombs, sat on a mountaintop overlooking it all. 

We arrived home on February 28th, completely clueless as to how our world was about to change. My first hint beyond the face masks that began to appear as I changed planes in Amman Jordan, was my daughter’s welcome home text: “Wash your hands!” Seriously?!

Thank goodness I’ve got a personal history and now an unforgettable journey to sustain me through this time. Because I was right there. And I know how the story ends.


Luke 5:1-3: “One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the word of God. He noticed two empty boats at the water’s edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon, its owner, to push it out into the water.”


And so he did. I can see it all—the Sea, the boats, the fishermen, the nets…. This is where it all started for Simon-soon-to-be-Peter. 

He was just a tired, normal guy knew nothing of what was to come, perhaps nothing even of Jesus Himself except for what he may have overheard that day as he cleaned his nets after his unsuccessful fishing trip.Yet his entire future was changed in an instant when he did that seemingly insignificant little thing that Jesus asked him to do—push his boat out into the water. 

Simon-Peter had no idea where that first step of obedience would take him. He could have come up with plenty of reasons to say no. I can hear him sigh as he pushed that boat back out to sea.

I can’t help but remember the first time I’d obeyed an untimely and seemingly illogical request from God. Like Peter, my life changed in an instant. It was one of the handful of times in my life that I knew with absolute certainty that I was dead-center of God’s will. There’s nothing like it.

But like Peter, I could have said no. 

And I have. On so many occasions, before and since. I’ve claimed all kinds of excuses, mostly based on fear or pride or putting so many other things ahead of God. Not listening. Not believing—second guessing what He’s telling me. Putting His request on my to-do list and never quite getting around to it.


Sea of GalileeFather, I’m sorry for always putting other things ahead of You. I want to be a woman who puts You first—the one who listens and obeys without stalling and without question. I want to be like Simon turned Peter, who pushed that boat off shore despite his exhaustion, regardless of all of the other things he surely had on his to-do list after a long day at work. 

Thank You for continuing to mold me into the person You created me to be. In Jesus’ name I pray all this as I see, once again, the Sea of Galilee, the waves, the boat, the fishermen, the nets…and Simon saying yes to You. Amen.

I wonder…Have you ever felt the indescribable whoosh of knowing that you are dead-center of God’s will? Or does human logic stop you from taking that first step of obedience?

To learn more, please join me at church this weekend:

Link to Eagle Brook Church


  • Beautiful, Mary! It spoke to my heart and reinforced my own prayers for this day and everyday. Thank you for sharing your heart and your faith.

  • Oh Mary, this is such good writing. Makes me think of many prayer books I have, like Jesus Calling. You could take your SAPS and publish something similar. We can all relate to these questions and feelings that our faith isn’t strong enough. Seriously, you’d have a best seller. ❤️

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