In the Bible, two fishermen, Simon Peter and Andrew, had worked all night fishing, but their nets came up empty. In the morning, Jesus, relying on the wisdom of his heavenly Father, God, said to Peter, “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught” (Luke 5:4). Peter’s willingness changed everything. They caught so many fish that it required two ships to bring in the catch. This remarkable evidence of abundance no doubt helped convince them to follow Jesus. They became his disciples, and many times saw him demonstrate the effectiveness of relying on God as the source of all provision.
Yet, after Jesus was crucified, Peter and some of the other disciples went back to fishing one night. Why? Were they perhaps filled with doubt about their ability to heal, discouraged that Jesus wasn’t there, worried about the resistance they could encounter preaching the gospel? But Jesus had resurrected from the grave, and he appeared to the disciples on the shore in the morning. They had again caught nothing, but he told them to cast their net on the right side and they listened, resulting in another remarkable catch. Perhaps spiritual qualities of trust, faith, commitment, and love filled their thoughts and replaced their fears. They returned to teaching and preaching.
I like thinking about how Christian Science Reading Rooms are staffed by those who rely on God and follow Jesus’ teachings to meet human needs. When I accepted the position of librarian for our church’s Reading Room, I was aware that we could be looking for a new location in the near future. The desire to share the Reading Room’s spiritual resources carried me through the doubts, discouragement, and frustration that I would encounter as the search progressed. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the Discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, states, “Desire is prayer; and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and in deeds” (p. 1).