One of the most fundamental characteristics of God is that he is generous. God’s benevolent generosity defines his basic stance toward humanity. This may not seem overly remarkable with only a cursory thought about God. Yet, when the infinite holiness of God intersects with the prideful arrogance of sinful people, gracious generosity is the quite unpredictable result.
On one occasion, Peter was going about his business fishing in the Sea of Galilee. Having not yet encountered Jesus, Peter met him and came under his teaching. After Jesus was finished speaking, he told Peter to put the boat out and cast his nets. Peter, an experienced fisherman and knowledgeable about the water, knew that he would not catch anything. But, out of deference to Christ, he did so, anyway. The result was such a large catch of fish that the nets nearly broke from the weight.
Peter’s response is instructive. He fell at the feet of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” Peter understood that he had no faith in Jesus. He rightly discerned that he did not deserve such generosity from Jesus, an overflowing abundance that was given to him despite his lack of belief. In the face of such grace, in the vortex of an incredible mercy, having seen the generosity of God directed squarely at him, Peter left it all behind in order to follow Jesus.
Jesus does not strong-arm us into faith. His tactics do not involve manipulation through guilt, or mind-twisting others through shaming them. Instead, God is beautifully and simply himself: showing grace and generosity in places where one would least expect to find it. When confronted with such love, what would you do?
Gracious God, you sent your Son to me even though I was neither looking for him nor expecting anything from him. Thank you for breaking-in to my life so that I could break-out for you with glory, honor, and praise. Amen.