Catching the big one: Casting a line for the Lord's love

Sunday, June 7, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 4:50 p.m. CDT, Monday, June 8, 2009

Fishing season is here and it’s a spare time activity that I enjoy doing. It gives me an opportunity to rest, relax and renew my mind, body and soul.  I call it, (TAWG) “Time Along With God.”

My kids love going fishing as well and to watch them attempt to put the worm on the hook is a tricky chore to see. No matter what the size or type of fish, they get so animated when I made the "big" catch. The funny thing was to watch my kids try to take the fish off the hook. I can hear them say, “Dad, you take this nasty fish off and don’t drop it.” Aren’t you grateful that God has not dropped? Moreover, this was a great bonding time with my kids and many lessons were learned as we tried to catch the big fish.

Perhaps you may recall your days of fishing and trying to take those slippery and slick fish off that tiny hook. If fish do not move around so much, fishing would be so much easier. We live in such a fast-paced world that we move about like the fish we tried to catch as kids. God uses His everlasting fishing pole, the Bible, to lure us closer to Him, where He wants to hold us with His unmovable hand of love. I like the version of the Message Bible which says, “I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. This is my command: Love one another the way I have loved you.”

Nonetheless, fishing has become a game where people get a big rush in the hope of catching the big one. You have heard the old saying, “the one that got away.” Many times, we fish and they get away somehow, but we keep on trying to catch another. I think our Lord is like that with us. We get away from Him through our own selfish pride and negative thinking but He continues casting His spiritual bait with the hope of pulling us back to Him. I am glad that God has not given up on me as I’ve been one of those lost fish, swimming around with no purpose or direction in life.

The enjoyment of fishing becomes stimulating on each cast of the line into the water with hope that the big one is swimming, lurking about nearby. Additionally, the art of catching the big one comes from experience in due course. As it took my kids countless tries to put the worm on the hook, it will also take us time to catch the big fish. Let me say, that we sin and fall short of the glory of God, yet He still fishes for our soul lacking no reservation with His grace and mercy as eternal bait that leads to salvation.  

You may feel defeated at first, thinking you are going nowhere as you cast your life line into a dark and sinful world; but do not lose hope. We serve a God who has overcome the world through the life, death, Resurrection and the coming again of His Son Jesus Christ. If you don’t first succeed try, try again. Our spiritual net has the potential for being completely full with people who needed to be caught by the hook of salvation.

"As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother, Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 'Come and follow me,' Jesus said, 'and I will make you fishers of men.' At once they left their nets and followed Him." (Matthew 4:18-20) Let’s follow the example of Christ and bait the hook of God’s promises and trust Him to make the big catch of that lost and wandering fish. So, the next time you feel like a big fish in a little pond, remember, God has the right bait to catch and pull you out and give you just what you need to face the challenges of today.

Major K. Kendall Mathews is the regional coordinator for The Salvation Army.

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