Ever since I was a young boy, I have always enjoyed fishing. There is nothing like being able to reel in that big fish for the first time. Once you are able to catch that first fish, you are then officially “hooked.” Sometimes, you can think that it will be easier at times to catch more fish after you have caught the first one and that you can become a great fisherman all of a sudden, but there are several skills that make a great fisherman. The most important skill to have in order to become a great fisherman is patience. Without patience, you find yourself not being as successful as you can be while fishing because your heart is not fully in it and you may end up losing the focus and desire to fish. Well, like fishing, life doesn’t always come easy and even if you think you have everything in order, sometimes you aren’t able to catch any fish some days but the importance of having patience comes in. There have been many times I have been out fishing from morning until dark and have not caught a thing. I know how frustrating it can be, but that still doesn’t mean the fish were not in the water that day. They were there but was I truly prepared to fish? Was the water temperature what it should be for the type of fish I wanted to catch? Did I use the right bait? All of these questions come to mind when you have an unsuccessful day of fishing. Sometimes you can have everything right and still catch nothing, just like in John Chapter 21 where we learn about when the Disciples fished all night but caught nothing yet when Jesus appeared and said to cast the net one more time, they caught an abundance of fish that they could not pull in the net. See, Jesus says to keep trying even when we think that we are unsuccessful at reaching someone for the Lord. Doing the work of the Lord by spreading the gospel to others pleases Him and we should never think that we have failed.
Being able to follow Jesus’s guidance that he has for us when all hope seems lost and when frustration creeps in, allows us, just like the disciples to become fishers of men. We just have to trust Jesus and know that he will continue to supply our need and work miracles in peoples’ lives. The fish (people) are still there and we need to continue to have patience when we feel that they aren’t biting to what we are sharing. Another skill you will need to master if you want to become a good fisherman is when to loosen the drag. If you finally are able to get some success in hooking that big fish, you cannot have the line too tight because it will either break or be much harder to reel the fish in. Too many times when someone is finally listening to what we have to offer about Jesus we tend to keep the line too tight instead of loosing it to allow the person to swim a little (freedom) I believe that this is the hardest part about fishing for men because who doesn’t want to be able to finally be able to reel that person in as quickly as possible but sometimes it does more damage than good. Jesus tells us to give the truth of the gospel and allow the person to find the nourishment in understanding it fully by coming to Him. Yes, we can continue to invite that person to church, Bible Study, and even fishing trips but it is not our job to reel them in.
So, let me put it this way, so you may understand better. My son is almost six years old and he is going to represent the Christian in this analogy. He is at the point in his life that he is able to prepare the pole, bait his hook, and cast when fishing, yet when he gets a fish hooked, he hasn’t mastered the reeling in part yet so he relies on me (his father) to pull the pole back and reel the fish in. See, God expects the same for us, because he wants us to be able to prepare on how to fish, when to fish, and show patience by continuing to pray. What good is it if you are fishing for catfish and you constantly cast and reel in without allowing the bait to sit at the bottom of the pond? This goes back to understanding what type of fish you are fishing for and bait you are using. You may snag one on accident eventually but the fish will eventually end up dying or having a lot more damage than if you were patient enough and you did it the correct way. Jesus wants us to rely on Him and to be able to reel in the fish that we have prepared to catch and in doing this we are fishing the correct way.
Remember, God will always be there in guiding you to where the fish are and sometimes you will go through some deep waters but the end results are so rewarding when you are able to be a part of a big catch.
Now, let’s go fishing! God Bless.