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Faith Like a Fisherman?

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to watch my brother cast his fishing line into a Wisconsin lake. Standing on our uncle’s boat dock, he baited the hook and sent it flying through the air into the water. At a measured distance from the hook, a red and white bobber was tied to the fishing line. When the bobber hit the water, it refused to sink, keeping the hook at a predetermined depth and alerting my brother when a fish was biting.  Each time that bobber flipped over, the fisherman would work to set the hook in the fish’s mouth and then reel it in.

As I watched, he pulled in a number of fish which were sorted by size to be put in his basket or tossed back to the lake. Interestingly, I have on my mind today what happened when the fish did not bite and the bobber did not flip.

This morning I was considering some familiar words from Jesus Christ’s disciple, Peter, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) In Psalm 55:22, David expressed it this way, “Cast your cares on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” When I think of the word “cast”, fishing is the first activity that comes to mind. However, according to Joyce Meyer, author of Battlefield of the Mind, “The word ‘cast’ actually means to pitch or throw.” As I watched my brother fish, he would cast his hook into the water. If no fish tugged on the line causing the bobber to flip, he would reel the hook back in, check to see if the bait was intact, and then cast it out again. While it would appear to the fish that a worm was swimming through the water unattached, the line was keeping the control of the hook soundly in the fisherman’s grip.

Are we to cast our cares, worries, anxieties, and concerns to our Lord while keeping them tied to a line that we can reel back to our own hands and minds? Not if we trust Him to handle them and want to be free of anxiety.

What if we pitched each care to God at 100 mph like the best major league baseball pitchers throw the ball to the catcher? Joyce Meyer continues, “You and I can pitch or throw our problems to God and believe me, He can catch them. He knows what to do with them.”

Our next move would be to wait. We would not reel the problem back in, work on the knot or the bait, and send it out again. The next move would be from God’s hand, not ours.

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14

 

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In Perfect Step

On these cold, damp January days in Ohio, I get most of my exercise at our mall, usually walking side by side with my husband up and down the corridors at a pretty good clip.  But yesterday my schedule only allowed for me to walk alone while he was at work. As I was putting in my laps, passing meandering patrons and fellow mall-walkers, one particular couple caught my eye.

Husband and wife, probably in their 70s, came around a corner at a brisk pace, not just side by side, but arm in arm.  I was amazed to witness them moving with elbows locked and perfectly in perfect step with each other!  Right – left – right – left.  I couldn’t take my eyes off of them as they passed.  It was poetry in motion, and I now wonder if they might be dancing partners who move with graceful precision across the floor.

My first encounter with The Couple in Perfect Step happened only an hour after I had been preparing to lead a women’s Bible study session about the Fruit of the Spirit.  During that evening’s class, I planned to include a verse that says “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (Galations 5:25)  Right before my eyes was an extraordinary picture of what I imagine that can look like.

The Spirit referred to is the third part of the Holy Trinity of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, who comes to reside in the person who trusts Jesus for eternal life.  The fruit that this relationship produces is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  By relationship, I mean acknowledging the presence and authority of God the Holy Spirit in every area of life, and that means focusing on where He wants to lead, as well as when and how fast we are to move.

I envisioned myself with my smaller, weaker arm linked securely with his strong one, moving in perfect step through the day, trusting his lead.

With joy, I told the group of women about The Couple in Perfect Step to encourage them to link elbows with the Holy Spirit, walk in step with Him, and bear the fruit that is uniquely Christian.

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