About the Narrator

Joe Chiaravallotti is a retired Naval Officer who has been a member of OCF since 1994. He and his wife, Kristi, currently serve as OCF local leaders and Area Coordinators within the National Capital Region. Joe is also a member of the White Sulphur Springs Advisory Committee, where he serves as Chaplain.

This episode narrated by CDR Joe Chiaravallotti, USN (Ret.)

Failure is a part of living.

Our Scripture reading comes from Luke 5:5, quoting from the New King James Version:

“But Simon answered and said to Him, ‘Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.’ ”

To me, Luke 5:5 is a curious object lesson. On the one hand, Peter, a skilled fisherman, could have been insulted that Jesus asked him to demonstrate once more what he had repeatedly failed at throughout the day. On the other hand, Jesus allowed him the opportunity to demonstrate faith and trust.

One might ask: Did Simon really fail, or was his unproductive fishing day tied to Christ’s master plan and call? I would think the latter. How might we apply Peter’s object lessons to our own situations?

Points to Ponder

Over the next week, here are 3 points to ponder during your personal time of reflection or with a small group or mentor.

  • First, recognize that God has a master plan. Failure is a part of living. As leaders, however, we have the ability to serve as change agents—and what agents for change we can be! Having been bounced around from shop to shop, a young sergeant once said to me, “Someone must give me a chance at some point.” Christ gives us occasion after occasion to demonstrate faith in His ability to make our lives productive.
  • Second, demonstrate active concern. Christian leaders have an opportunity to help others live productive lives. Ultimately, we become a part of God’s eternal plan in the lives of others. Although God’s ways are not always easy to discern, He is still in the instruction business. Patient persistence and courage are effective stabilizers when faced with unrealistic alternatives.
  • Third, God can use us! In spite of our flux and failures, do not be afraid to approach Him or feel unworthy of His use. A temporal failure does not have to be permanent. Be full of courage (see Joshua 1:9). At the Master’s command, try again. He has an awesome plan for you (Luke 5:8-10) even when things may not seem to flow logically.