Having Jesus in the boat with us makes all the difference.
In Luke 5, a group of fishermen force their tired arms to cast their nets one more time. After fishing through the night and catching nothing, I wonder how they felt when Jesus requisitioned their boats to serve as his preaching platform. I wonder how they felt when Jesus told them to "Put out to deep water and let down the nets for a catch."
If anything, their chances of finding fish should have been lower. The sun beat the water, driving the fish away. Their guide made tables and chairs for a living. The best efforts of the professionals during the optimum time had failed. It was time to move on.
But it wasn't time to move on.
Having Jesus in the boat made a difference. A miracle happened. So many fish!
In all our efforts to get the gospel out on campus, it's easy to feel discouraged ... to feel like we've fished all night, trying to fish for people, and have nothing to show for it but empty nets.
With Jesus, an empty net can become a full net without warning. And that full net can come without our doing anything extraordinary or anything that can explain it. Jesus himself is the essential element.
If you have an empty net, take heart ... Jesus is in the boat with us.
How do you think you'd feel, pulling up a full net?