The pond behind our home is a treasure trove of amazing creatures waiting to be discovered.
The kids often fish back there, using everything from worms to hot dogs to bread for bait. (You’d be shocked at what’s attracted by wieners–they’re favorites of turtles and bass.)
The fun is always in the catching.
When Brooklyn hooked a bass on her own and managed to bring it in, she was not only proud of her accomplishment but tickled at the size of the fish.
We’re all fishermen of a sort. Trying to hook something that surprises, encourages, and empowers us. It’s a means to an end. Hopeful anticipation of what can be.
Fishing of any kind requires bait. The right kind of bait. It takes knowing the area in which you’re fishing and what the “fish” is you’re desiring to land.
I’ve fished for different things in my life–and only a few times for the scaly creatures. Seeking the right career, the best kind of friends, and a man I could trust and love. It all requires knowing how and who to be, becoming intentional about putting my best foot forward, and choosing responsibly to be the real me.
To attain things that mean something to us means we must choose the right behavior and attitudes to acquire what we seek. It’s essential that we’re self-aware–being someone we’re not isn’t sustainable. No one can pretend forever.
During Jesus’ time, fishing became more common a profession as Jewish fishermen cast their nets mainly in the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River. The Mediterranean Sea was predominately a Gentile area where the Philistines plied their trade.
Fishing was understood as necessary. It supplied Jesus with clear ways of communicating with people about what it meant to be part of God’s kingdom.
Jesus had been teaching the people about forgiveness and grace, and the crowds grew, pushing closer to hear what He said. He got into a boat at the shore; the fishermen were near, cleaning their nets. Jesus asked them to put out a little from the shore so He could keep teaching.
When He finished, Jesus told Peter (it was his boat) to push out to the deep water and let their nets out. They’d been fishing all night and had caught nothing. But Peter did as Jesus asked.
“‘Master,’ Peter replied, ‘we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if You say so, I’ll let the nets down again.’ And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear!” Luke 5:5-6
Peter recognized the success of his endeavor was to listen to and obey Jesus. His power to provide for His people, to care for and protect them, was greater than Peter had ever seen. Jesus proved to His people that He was their Enough, that He could provide what they needed.
What we need.
We all have needs and desires, things that we strive for and hope to gain. Too often we go after what isn’t helpful or worthwhile for us to have–we fish in the wrong places seeking the wrong things.
Relying on Jesus to demonstrate His love for us gives us a better understanding of what’s worth fishing for.
What are you trying to catch?