Pastor’s Pen:1 Cast ≠ 1 Fish

The other evening a buddy and I took off for a brand new fishing spot, uncertain whether this would be an evening of successful catching or simply a relaxing evening on the water.

We approached the boat launch and saw a nice patch of lily pads and weeds off to one side and decided that was a good place to begin fishing. The canoe was unloaded, supplies were situated and we were off.

When we came close to the spot, I took out my bass spinner ready and cast in the direction of the lily pads. It was the very first cast of the night.

As soon as my lure hit the water I began to slowly reel in – slow turn, fast turn, slow turn, fast turn... Yank! I felt the tug of a fish! That had to be my bass! I began reeling in as it seemingly swam directly at the canoe.

As it got closer I noticed that it wasn’t a bass at all but a pike! He jetted under the canoe and I drew him back up.

My fishing partner quickly grabbed the net and swooped him into the boat. It was a nice, fat 30” pike! A great way to start the night! ...Sort of.

That first cast and such a great catch made it hard to be patient the rest of night. I now had a 1 cast = 1 fish kind of mentality, but that was not reality. We did catch some other fish, but there were definite periods of nothing in between and I had to learn to relax, be content and wait patiently.

Many times we wonder in life why we go through times of waiting or difficult times. We think that God is being mean or unfair, but I wonder if He’s simply teaching us and growing us.

James 1:2-4 says this, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

We are told here that our trials help us to grow and mature. We learn to appreciate life a little more and love God a little more.

Whenever I’m fishing for a while before catching a fish, I appreciate that one I caught all the more. When I catch one right off the bat I wonder, “Why didn’t I catch more?”

Those times of not catching help me appreciate the times I do. I know I’ve spent many more hours not catching fish than catching them. Though I don’t talk about those days often, they do help me appreciate the days I do catch and have taught me to enjoy those time I’m not catching.

Would I rather be catching fish? Yes! But I’ve learned to have a better attitude even when I’m not.

What about you? What is your attitude when life is in a waiting period and things aren’t going so well? Can you still enjoy life and rejoice in the Lord?

Remember that He is working on you through those times and He will make you into so much more because of those times. Whatever is going on in life, trust the Lord and rejoice, not in having difficult time; but in a God who is there for you when you do.