As a child and later as a teenager, I made some vows about what I was not going to do when I was a mom.
One of those was the promise that when my children asked me “WHY?” I would never, ever, ever say, “Because I said so.”
Then I became a mom.
These kids who made me a mom asked “Why?!” when they already knew why or at least had a pretty good idea.
I had kids who had to know why if I asked them to do something. These kids could give me ten reasons why they shouldn’t do something and make me feel guilty for even asking. Their why questions weren’t so much because they really wanted to know. They just wanted to see if they could find a loop-hole in my reasoning.
Whenever possible, I did attempt to explain in response to their questions. Sometimes I told them, “You do it now, and I will explain ” why” tomorrow.” [You should try that one; it works pretty well. They still have to do it, but the wind is knocked out of their sails. They have no reason to argue when the task is already done.]
There were days when I was weary of explaining myself and I realized that all they needed to do was obey because I was their mom. They didn’t have to know why. This was good practice for obeying God. They could obey without agreeing, without understanding, and without knowing why. Sometimes God asks that of us, and it’s good practice in being a child of a parent who makes “unreasonable” requests.
So I’d look them right in the eye and say those words I had promised I would never, ever, ever say: “Because I am your mama, and because I said so.”
I think about that when I read the story of Peter and his friends fishing an entire night and not getting a single catch. In the morning Jesus came, and He told them to go out into the deep and let their nets down.
You know Peter: mouthy, opinionated, brazen and bold.
True to himself, Peter declares, “Well, we’ve already been out there all night long. We’ve busted tail all night long, and we haven’t caught a single thing.”
The part I love best about this story is that, after Peter gave all the reasons why going out into the deep and putting their nets down one more time was totally useless, he said, “But because You say so, I will let down the nets.”
Because You Say So.
Life deals us many uncertainties and challenges. What God asks of us in response does not always make human sense. Yet at times, we are called to follow simply because of Who God is and because He said so.
If you’re like me, you’ve had situations where you’ve ‘worked hard all night’ and things haven’t worked out like you wished they had. You’re tired and weary and discouraged. Your net is completely empty. You have nothing to show for your work and your prayers. You’re tired of trying and you’re ready to give up. You’re ready to get out of the boat and you don’t care to cast another net, ever again.
Then Jesus comes.
He tells us not to give up. He gives something in which to hope, something for which to reach, something we must obey, something He asks us to do.
The temptation is to say, “But . . . . !!!!! ”
It’s okay to tell Him what we’re feeling – to convey our hurt and frustration and wanting to throw in the net.
He already knows, so it’s okay.
And then? Then is when it’s time to say, “But – because You say so, I will . . . ”
What empty nets are you holding? What is He asking you to do, today?