When I was a teenager, a missionary to Uganda, Webster “Web” Carroll, came to our church to speak. I was fascinated by his stories from the mission field. Many years later, when he was retiring, he came back to our church to share a final message. He asked us to open our Bibles to John 21:1-6…
Later Jesus appeared again to the disciples beside the Sea of Galilee. This is how it happened. Several of the disciples were there--Simon Peter, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples. Simon Peter said, "I'm going fishing." "We'll come, too," they all said. So they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night. At dawn the disciples saw Jesus standing on the beach, but they couldn't see who he was. He called out, "Friends, have you caught any fish?" "No," they replied. Then he said, "Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you'll get plenty of fish!" So they did, and they couldn't draw in the net because there were so many fish in it.
Jesus asks, "Do you have any fish?" Sooner or later somebody has to speak and say, "No, Sir, we don't." Sooner or later we face Jesus Christ, whether we recognize Him or not. "What do you have to show for the last 8 hours you've spent in the water?" He covers us with His compassion. Just like He did that early morning—to talk to the fish that were there in the water that night.
The difference between spiritual victory and spiritual defeat is the Presence of the Lord Jesus. He explained this with another Ugandan word, 'basi'... it means, 'peace, it will be alright, it will be okay.' It is used by mothers nursing their babies, it means 'peace, healing' as they hold their babies, they pat them saying, “basi, basi”..."that's alright, that's alright." Then he closed with John 3:16 and he said,