Our friend, Ray, that we go fishing with is an early riser. He likes to be out on the water by 6:15 casting his net for bait. I love fishing. So it's not hard to get out of bed to go. Except....when we've gotten our bait and boated over to our favorite fishing spot, baited the hooks, tossed them in and.......nothing happens. Ray's wife, Nancy, says that the fish don't wake up until 8:30. It's truly amazing how many mornings that was true!! We never went a day without catching fish, but most days it was after 8:30!
As I sat there, watching the end of my fishing pole--willing it to move, it was easy to think--"Hey, I could have slept another 2 hours!" Now I am a pretty patient fisherperson. My husband on the other hand....if he hasn't had a bite in 5 minutes, he's ready to go do something else. That is especially true at home on our pond. There is too much work calling his name for him to just sit and wait for a fish to bite. Out on the boat, far away from home, he is much better. But he still takes a book to read!!
As I sat out on that boat waiting for that 30" striper to wake up, I began to think about faith. We have our fishing poles of faith cast out into God's great ocean and we sit watching our poles. We want God to give a mighty tug and let us know He is there. We want the end of that pole to bend, and the line begin to scream off the reel. But, it isn't "8:30" yet. We have to sit and be patient. And continue to be watchful.
I admit, sometimes out on the boat with the gentle rocking motion and the wind in my face, I would begin to nod off. When I began to do that, I would take the fishing pole out of the holder and lock my hands around it so that I wouldn't miss that tug. I sure didn't want to miss that fish!! And all it took was one little bump and I would be WIDE AWAKE!!! It might be several minutes before another bump came along, but, oh, how thrilling that was!! And then once a fish took that line--Wow!--I was up out of my seat in a flash, tugging and reeling and squealing with delight!! Now it wasn't just me that was excited, everyone in the boat became more animated and watchful. And once we started catching those 22'-24' fish, don't you know we were all really excited.
We may wait for a long time for a little tug on our pole that lets us know our faith in God does not go unanswered. But once it comes, oh, aren't we pleased and excited and willing to wait for the next tug. And if a really big TUG comes, our joy can not be contained! We might even cause other people to become excited.
But you know who I'm really impressed with. The person who just keeps his pole in God's great ocean--never getting even a little bump. And yet, stays. Keeps that pole in the water. Trusting. Surely, surely, God is a great rewarder of those who patiently continue to wait.
"Be still, and know that I am God."
Father, help me to be patient. Help me to be watchful and very aware of even the tiny "bumps" that let me know you are there. But even when there are no "bumps", Father, help me to continue to trust, to have faith. And help me, Father, to continually bring to mind the "whales" that have tugged on my line--that prove to me You are who you say You are.
"Now may the God of Peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for he who calls you [and tugs on your line] is FAITHFUL. I Thes. 5:23-24