Matthew 4:19 “And he saith unto them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” –KJV
Have you ever gone fishing? Well, yesterday, I went fishing with my dad. That was the first time I’d ever gone fishing with him and the experience was quite eventful. You see, my dad loves fishing and prefers to fish with live bait.
He owns tons of rubber baits that will do fine, but sometimes they don’t do the trick. When we arrived at the lake, we had to get bait. In my mind there was a bucket of worms somewhere and all we had to do was scoop them out. However, in reality there wasn’t a bucket, we had to DIG for worms. So, I followed behind and watch how my dad went from dirt pile to hay stack to dirt pile searching for worms. It stunk, but I noticed Gabby doing the same thing. She didn’t mind at all, but me, as a mother, I was frantic and losing it on the inside because it wasn’t just dirt out there. After digging, we walked back to his truck to bait the hooks. This meant picking up the worms, breaking them if they’re too big or long, and sliding them on the hook. Yeah… that was an entire NO for me! By all means, I’m not afraid of worms, I just can’t stand to touch them. Just the thought gave me the heebie jeebies! I gave my dad the opportunity to bait our hooks instead, but he insisted on showing me how to do mine. Finally, we were off fishing. We casted our lines and then we waited. As we were waiting, I noticed how focused and patient my dad was. He was so calm and relaxed. He didn’t get upset because the fish weren’t biting his line, but rejoiced when Gabby and I would hook one.
As I watched my dad, God revealed to me some similarities between fishing and ministry. I’ve read about it and heard many sermons preached about, but never really experienced it firsthand. Sometimes, we have to do the most uncomfortable, uncommon things to get fish. Just like digging in the dirt for worms and baiting our hooks, we have to step out with a willingness like Gabby, and get our hands dirty when working in ministry. At first it can be uncomfortable, but the end result is rewarding. We have to bait the hook. We have to be willing to learn how to catch fish. We have to study our Bibles, pray, fast, worship, and be active because fish won’t bite dead, dim bait. Even though we cast our lines, preached a good sermon, wrote a great book, or hosted a successful community event, we still have to stay focused and patiently wait until the fish come to us. Even if our efforts seems to go unnoticed and all the fish are going to the smaller, less experienced fishermen, we still have to rejoice because they still caught a fish and another wayward soul came home. After my revelation I sucked it up, got a worm, baited my hook, cast my line, caught a fish and rejoiced with family because another fish was added to the number.
Father, thank You for the opportunity to learn what it takes to fish. Thank You for showing me what all entails for winning a soul for You. It may get dirty and uncomfortable at times, but instill in us that positive determination to keep going. Remind us that we have to reflect Your light to capture the fish’s attention and keep us living in truth because fish won’t bite dead bait. Continue to give us the courage and patience to fish and remove any resentment, bitterness, or jealousy that will hinder our catch causing us not to rejoice when another brethren wins a soul for You. Give us unity, grant us grace, and guide us each step of the way. In Jesus’ name, Amen.