It was a quiet evening on the shore of a vast lake where one could only hear the occasional chirp of a cricket. Gray clouds covered the entire sky with a streaming sunlight parting through them in the distance. An elderly man and a young girl sat on stools atop the long, wooden pier that extended onto the surface of the crystal blue water. They each held a fishing pole with lines cast several feet away. Every 10 minutes or so, after reeling in their lines to check the bait, the man placed his hand on the youngster’s shoulder and offered words of instruction regarding the fishing process.
So, how does this image relate to one’s own relationship with the Lord? Three specific characteristics come to mind—His presence, pull and patience. Along with how the fisherman displays his presence through his physical touch, his speaking in the child’s ear, and his quietness, the Holy One manifests Himself continuously through a variety of circumstances. A quietness may envelop a family as their loved one drifts away. An overwhelming joy and love may rush over a couple during the birth of their infant. His healing touch is evident when test results offer a glimmer of hope to a family. No matter what the circumstances, always know that His face can be seen in all moments of living.
In the midst of His presence, the Lord further draws His followers closer to Him. It is, during these periods, that one may feel the strongest tug upon his or her heart. He offers a shoulder for the cries of the lonely. He gives strength to those attempting to take their first steps again. He serves as a listening ear to the individuals who cannot find comfort within their own social sphere. Like a fisherman who repeatedly throws out a “life line,” hoping for the fish to take grasp, God waits endlessly for His children to reach out for His assistance.
Simultaneously with his presence and pull, the image of the fisherman symbolizes a small glimpse of the patience God displays towards His people. He speaks words of comfort and encouragement through the nurses and doctors who spend countless hours at patients’ bedsides. He proves Himself through the smiles of those waiting upon technology that allows them to complete various tasks, such as elevators shifting from floor to floor and computers sometimes slowly opening necessary programs. Allowing the Lord to patiently work in each of our lives only further brings us a sense of peace and security in the various ministries that we provide.
A well-known Chinese proverb states: “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” May the Great Fisherman continue to instruct all of us with wise teachings as He journeys with us through the joys and trials we encounter on a daily basis!