The expression “Be careful what you wish for” has been used to put me off anytime I desire something beyond my reach. My friends usually use this expression to put me off when I speak fondly of a nice girl who is ahead of me in terms of education, has a boyfriend with a physical stature like John Cena or is rich and perceived to have expensive tastes which we all know I can’t satisfy. This expression basically means beyond every desire, there are unforeseen and unpleasant consequences.
I guess you’ve also had a dose of this expression which usually serves as a warning. Never mind because we are not alone. The likes of Simon Peter and his friends in the Bible also found themselves in this situation. Just that unfortunately for them, they were not warned but rather faced the unforeseen consequences of their desire.
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, so he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish”.
“Master” Simon replied “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came and filled both the ships so that they began to sink.
Fast forward to three years after this incident, the same scenario presents itself in John 21:1-6 after Jesus resurrected. Afterward, Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. Simon Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish”, Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No” they answered. He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
So here were a group of fishermen in a state of lack and their only desire is abundance. Unfortunately, they were not prepared for the consequences of the abundance they desperately sought in both scenarios. When it was time for what they wished for, they couldn’t handle it because they’re net broke and had to call for reenforcement. Imagine the mess and chaos they found themselves in when they’re net broke. Imagine the time they wasted waiting for help from other fisherfolks and the number of fishes that would have escaped within that time frame.
While in the first instance, their fishing equipment couldn’t handle the catch, they didn’t have the energy or manpower to handle the catch in the second instance.
Humans as we are, it is natural for us to desire more than we currently have. I’ve heard people on countless occasions describing the Christian journey as a journey of abundance and they often make reference to a verse in Psalm 23 that says “My cup runneth over”. There’s nothing wrong with desiring a life of abundance but the question is; Are you prepared to bear its consequences? Jesus has demonstrated in his encounter with the fisher folks that ,abundance comes with a greater burden which is responsibility and efficiency. Unfortunately, most of us falter in this regard.
Sadly, this is the story of some of us. We harangue God in our time of lack to bring us abundance. We give hefty offerings with faith in Luke 6:38 but oblivious of the fact that, abundance comes with burdens and responsibilities. As a result, we don’t increase our capacity to handle it so we end up creating a mess of ourselves when God answers our prayer.
The abundance we seek today might not be in the context of fishing but the question still remains “Is your net strong enough to sustain it? Do you have the energy and personnel to handle it?
Some people pray desperately for a job promotion and when the promotion finally arrives, they break down because they’re unable to keep up with the job demand
The abundance you seek might be in the form of a fortune 500 job but the question is; can you cope with the extra hours you’d have to work? Can you cope with the demands of your employers?
Your abundance might be in the form of a rich husband but the question is; are you willing to keep up with his heavy schedule and the large family members he has to cater for?
Next time you wish for something big, always remember it comes with a greater burden which can make or unmake you.