Tuesday, July 31, 2007


As many of you know, my family just got back from a great beach vacation. It was nice to get away and just spend time with my wife and kids for a week. The kids were great fun and watching them play on the beach and at the pool at their ages was a real treat.

We did many of the same things we always do at the beach. We swam, built sand castles, ate out, and wandered around at Broadway at the Beach. However, I did get to do one thing that I will never forget.

My 5 year old wanted to go fishing. Now, I don’t mean he wanted to go down to the shore and throw a line in, he wanted to go out into the ocean. I finally found a reasonably priced excursion and on Thursday morning we headed out before the roosters got up, for a half-day fishing trip.

We went out on a boat with about 20 other people to fish for snapper, sea bass, flounder and others. The captain took us about 15 miles out to sea. Needless to say, my son was very excited. After about an hour ride out into the ocean, we finally put out lines in the water to fish.

I baited the hooks countless times, and we only brought in very small fish. Others on the boat were bringing in good size sea bass and the like. I could tell my son was beginning to get frustrated, so I suggested we take a short break. We ate some crackers and just looked out over the ocean for a few minutes and enjoyed the father/son time.

I recommended that we throw the lines out again and he reluctantly agreed. After about three times with no bites, he wanted to give up. I convinced him to keep trying, because this is why we had come. He continued trying.

Some time passed, and we were about 30 minutes from heading back in when I saw his line take off. He began to reel the line in, but the fish was fighting. I helped him bring the fish in and by this time we had the attention of the entire boat. What we pulled in was about a 2.5 foot long shark.

My son could hardly contain himself as we pulled the shark in the boat and the captain told him it was a keeper. There just happened to be a contest for the heaviest fish and my son won with his shark. He won a trophy and some money, which he later spent at the Bass Pro Shop on the way home.

After Jesus’ resurrection, He spent some time with the disciples. On one of these days, Peter decided to go fishing. Some of the others who were fishermen decided to go also. They were not having much luck, when Jesus called to them, asking if they were catching anything. They just simply said “No”.

Jesus then told a bunch of fishermen, who knew the lake well that they were fishing in, to fish on the other side of the boat. When they did, they couldn’t bring in the fish because of the weight.

How many times do we give up too quickly because things that we can see with our eyes don’t seem to be working? How many blessings of God do we miss because we are fishing on the “wrong side of the boat”? What is the work we need to be doing in our churches and community that we simply do not do because we have tried to accomplish it every way WE know how, to no avail? Who does God want us to share the gospel with, but we offer up excuse after excuse, because we feel inadequate?

God wants your nets to be full, and your work for Him to be fruitful. But, we need to be listening to His voice in order to receive our instructions on how to reap His harvest. The 5,000+ people would not have been fed that day if they had only tried to use the visible resources available. Don’t make the mistake of putting God in a box and limiting Him in His work by the standards of this world. Give your all to God and watch what He can do with it.

He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. (Matthew 14:19-20)

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