“Unbelievable.” That word circled my mind as I tightly clutched the positive pregnancy test in my hand. I hadn’t ever seen anything like it. In the nearly ten years of marriage, my body tried and failed at every attempt at growing our family tree. We had watered that tree with tears and longing and hope for years, but it resisted growth. And then it happened—that tiny sprouting bud found its way to our stunted tree, and life began to bloom.
“Can you believe it?” I’d say to my husband as my body began to stretch to accommodate life. “No,” he’d say, bewildered in the face of the miracle inside. Because the truth is that we had started to doubt. It seemed as though miracles were happening all around us. And as we watched the other trees expand with new life, we wilted in doubt under our barren shrub.
But hope was always there. Deep down in the midst of our doubt, hope kept nudging us along. It beckoned us to trust and pray and look beyond our barren tree to dream of the seemingly impossible.
I see that same sort of hope in Saint Peter in today’s Gospel. After “[working] hard all night and [catching] nothing,” Jesus asks him to "put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch." And it’s there—caught between the doubt of what he logically believes will be unfruitful and the hope in what Jesus is instructing him to do—that I see it. Because even amid great doubt, he pursues the path of faith and is astonished when they “[catch] a great number of fish” to the point that “their nets were tearing.” (Luke 5:4-6)
Stories of miracles abound throughout the Bible, but it is sometimes difficult to believe that such things could happen to us. May we constantly choose the path of hope, to look beyond our doubt and see the beautiful nature of a God who knows no bounds. And when the impossible attempts to cast doubt in our faith, may we seek The One who makes all things possible . . . even when it seems unbelievable.
Take your doubt and examine it today. Do you have faith it can blossom?
Brittany Calavitta is an enthusiastic advocate for a good book, strong coffee, and a hopeful heart. After battling years of infertility, she and her husband welcomed their first child on September 11, 2016. You can find out more about her here.