And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”
–Mark 1:17 NASB
After dinner on Father’s Day, we asked each of our guests to share a meaningful story about their own dad. Some were funny, some appalling, and others tender. When it was my turn, the story that surfaced in my mind was just a sentence my dad would tell me, particularly in the later years of his life. As he’d watch me chaotically manage our kids, or cook dinner, or clean up after everyone, he’d call me over to where he was sitting and quietly whisper, “You’re doing a good job. You’re a good mom.” And tears would inevitably roll down my face as I tried to absorb his words and believe them for myself. Dad’s words to me were so powerful, and still to this day make me cry.
Larry Crabb stated in his book Connecting, “A vision we give to others of who and what they could become has power when it echoes what the Spirit has already spoken into their souls.” Dad’s encouragement called out my deep desire for all of the work and sacrifice for my family to matter. I knew the battle raging in my own soul to be selfish, to yell louder so they’d finally listen, to give up and just call it a day. But his words lingered in my heart and made me want to make them true.
Jesus did the same thing when he called Peter to follow him. “I will make you a fisher of men.” He saw in Peter what was not yet true of him and called him to something bigger. No big announcement in front of thousands, no shame for what he had not yet become – just a quiet pronouncement that he will become so much more as he follows the Savior. And Peter dropped his nets and followed. He came alive to what was already stirring within him and wanted to live according to that new vision for his life. As we read in Scripture, Peter fumbled and bumbled his way towards that vision, yet it called him forward, nonetheless.
I have found that the vision my dad had for me still drives me to love well. I now quietly repeat his words to my kids who are raising their own babies, particularly when it might be hard for them to believe…you’re a good mom, you’re such a great dad…you are loving well. My prayer is that we will all be driven by a vision that is bigger than what we are doing right now, a vision that follows Jesus to come alive to what He has already put within us.
ACTION: Do you have a vision for those whom God has placed in your life? A blessing of what is true, but not yet to its full potential? How can you express that to them in the coming days?