Suddenly my eyes are wide open and awake. I’m completely alert, yet it’s still dark outside. I roll over to check the time…4:00am…ugh…the sun hasn’t even thought of peaking over the mountains yet! I put my pillow over my head to block out the noise of the refrigerator in the next room…yet the only noise that is really keeping me awake is the voice inside my head. It refuses to be quiet, “Go to bed little voice,” I think. I’m not ready to face the day yet.
Of course it doesn’t listen and my mind begins to wander. “What am I going to face in the months and years ahead?” I wonder. “Forget the months ahead…what am I going to face today?” I think. “More importantly, how am I going to get through today?”
My heart yearns for Ryan and Evee. I miss them more than I can describe…the thought of them sends tears rolling down my cheeks. I quickly wipe them away. But just as quickly as the tears came, another thought enters my mind, “Have faith Alyssa. You were meant for great things. Keep going. You have so much potential.” I hold tight to that encouraging thought and eventually fall back to sleep.
I’m sure many of us often lie awake in the early hours of morning and wonder… “How am I going to face today?” We are all meant for great and marvelous things. We were sent to earth to accomplish a wonderful work. We just need to realize our potential and strive for greatness each and every day.
Recently I read a book called, The Peter Potential, written by David Butler and Emily Belle Freeman. In the book they discuss the potential of Peter, the great apostle. During his lifetime, Peter wasn’t always aware of his potential, but the one person who was aware of his greatness, was Jesus Christ. Christ knew Peter’s heart and he knew he was an amazing individual. Just as Peter, we too have the Savior who knows our hearts and our potential. The following is an excerpt from, The Peter Potential.
“He was a simple fisherman on the shores of Galilee, but on that morning, Simon Peter was extended an invitation that would change the course of his life. After spending the whole night fishing he had absolutely nothing to show for his labor. Despite his exhaustion, his aching hands worked the nets-washing and mending. Where others would walk away after a long night’s work leaving tangled nets, it was his nature to leave nothing undone. He was deliberate in his actions—-thorough.
Peter lifted his gaze to the rising of the sun and felt the boat shift behind him. He glanced over his shoulder and watched the Lord finish stepping on board. Smiling at Peter, He gestured at the huge crowd gathering on the shore and then humbly asked if he would, “thrust out a little from the land?”
A simple invitation…thrust out a little… a reminder that small actions can lead to great things.
Because he was still tending to his nets, the request wasn’t too much of an inconvenience, so Peter pushed off shore. He wondered at the pressing crowd. Perhaps they recognized it just as he had—this man taught with invitations that inspire change.
Peter listened intently to the message from the man he had grown to admire. What started out as curiosity quickly turned to captivation. Peter stacked his nets and turned his focus to the Lord. Once He finished teaching, the Lord turned to Peter and extended the next invitation…. “Launch out into the deep.”
The Savior did not intend to take Peter on a surface journey. He was about to reach into the depths of his heart. He wanted the depths of his soul. The miracles he intended to perform would not happen in shallow water. To accept the invitation, Peter could no longer be content with where he was. It would require lifting the anchor.
Peter’s first reaction was an expression of frustration, “We toiled all night and took nothing!” “What good would come of it this time?” He ran calloused fingers through his tangled hair and looked down at the nets now stacked and folded.
It was bad timing, really. Inconvenient. Logic told him it would be a waste. But at the Lord’s word, Peter lifted the anchor and launched out into the deep and let down his net.
“When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.” – Luke 5: 6-7
For almost an hour confusion reigned. Peter shouted out instructions to make sure all the fish were gathered and then divided the load to make sure the ships could bear the weight. At regular intervals his partners would stop and slap him on the back, congratulating him for his ingenuity and good fortune.
There was a moment, amidst the cacophony of it all, when Peter glanced over at the Lord. He knew the truth:
It was because he had accepted the invitation. That is why the boats were sinking with blessings. That is why the nets were breaking with goodness.”
Life is full of set-backs, trials, and confusion, but when we rely upon the Lord and accept His invitations; we will understand his plan and discover our great potential.
Often times we will feel like His invitations are in bad timing, inconvenient, or useless…but just as Peter… we need to launch out into the deep and lower our nets. When we go forward in faith, the Lord will bless us with nets so full they will break. We will find our great potential and be able to accomplish “all things.” I hope that we all can be like Peter and accept the many invitations in our lives. For when we do, those invitations will smooth, shape, and mold us into the divine individuals the Savior knows we are.