PASTOR'S PEN: Back to the little fish

The other day I had an hour and a half or so and did something I haven’t done for quite a while – I went to a lake nearby and just fished from the shore for little blue gill.

Several years ago, when my interest in fishing in Michigan first began to peak, I used to fish from shore all the time. I didn’t really have much of a choice. I would go and catch enough blue gills for a meal. That was about 10, so they were really small. Since that time I’ve gone on several fishing trips, fished with different guys with boats and went fishing in a canoe. I also discovered larger fish in area lakes and blue gill more than twice the size I was keeping. All of that hefty provision made me a decidedly picky fisherman. I no longer wanted to fish for tiny blue gill; I wanted big blue gill and bass and pike and walleye. I didn’t want to struggle with my line getting caught from shore and not being able to do anything about it. I liked the “luxury” of fishing from a boat and didn’t want to go back to those former days.

We get that way in life. We go through a difficult time of building up a business, working hard to keep together a family and staying strong spiritually. Then we finally ‘make it,’ sit back and relax. We get comfortable in our life boat and don’t want to go back to those hard times. It keeps us from taking even calculated risks, putting ourselves out there for others or being willing to sacrifice what we worked so hard for in order to honor God.

Paul was not afraid. He was a man who had built up fame and went through years of training to get to his prominent place in life. But he was also one who was willing to give it all up to serve God. Look at Philippians 4, “…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.”

Paul served God and had no qualms about sacrificing his accumulated position, wealth or pride so others could know the good news of Jesus Christ and salvation. Do you remember the struggle and the hard times? Maybe it would be good to look back and thank God for where He has brought you, but also be unafraid to follow Him back there.