By Debby Giusti


Have you ever tackled a project, expecting to succeed, only to fail? If so, you can probably relate to Peter in today’s gospel reading, John 21:1-19. He and a few disciples have fished all night and caught nothing. Tired and frustrated, they fail to recognize the resurrected Lord, who calls to them from the shore. “Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something,” Jesus tells them.

Responding either to his tone of authority or the familiarity of his voice, they comply with the Lord’s instruction. We’re told, “They made a cast, and took so many fish they could not haul the net in.”

I’m sure many of us have walked in Peter’s shoes. In spite of hard work and attention to detail, our perfect plan falls short of the mark. Our efforts seem to have been for naught, and we question whether to continue on or give up before we become even more discouraged.

For me, this gospel passage takes on special meaning in light of my journey to publication. When I began to write in earnest, I was like Peter, following my own course of action. I penned a number of mainstream suspense stories. Each one was rejected. Determined to succeed, I honed my craft, learned the ins and outs of the publishing industry, received positive feedback and resubmitted my manuscripts over and over again, but with no success.

Looking back, I realize Jesus was calling to me from the shore when Love Inspired Books, a Christian publisher, expanded their suspense imprint. The senior editor spoke at my Atlanta writing group and encouraged me to add a faith element to the secular story I had recently written.

I prayed for direction and heard the Lord telling me to toss my net into the Christian side of the publishing world. I made the changes to my story and knew, almost immediately, I’d found my home in the Christian market. That story sold and more than twenty books have followed.

How often do we rush headlong into an endeavor, relying on our own capabilities without calling on the Divine Creator to bless our work and guide our steps? Thankfully, the Lord did not forsake me, and once I turned to him, the desire of my heart came to fruition.

Are you fishing on the wrong side of the boat? Is your net empty? Turn to the Lord and seek his help. Trust him to guide you to that perfect catch.


About the author:

Debby Giusti is a bestselling author of Christian suspense with more than 900,000 books in print. Her work has won numerous accolades, including two Daphne du Maurier Awards for Inspirational Suspense, the National Readers’ Choice Award, the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, the Golden Quill, Beacon and the Write Touch. Her twenty-sixth novel, Her Forgotten Amish Past, will be in bookstores this November. A lifelong Catholic, Army wife and mother of three, Debby shares the love of Christ, one story at a time. Visit Debby: and