We get these little cold snaps of weather where the temperature drops suddenly and you’ll walk in a day that is still, the sky is bright, intense blue and the “lagoonal” waters are distinctly blue as you look out over them and if you walk down to the shore line you’ll find the water perfectly clear so that you can see straight through to the bottom of the shallows, everything on the bottom seeable in perfect detail.
On days like that, when my father-in-law was still alive we would go gill netting for trout. We’d head up or down river in the launch, towing two skiffs with netting. The air would be cold and sting your face, the water quiet, the day bright and beautiful.
After setting and waiting on the nets we’d begin to drag them in up over the transoms and pick fish. If the cold had set in quickly and the water temperature had dropped fast overnight the trout would sometimes come lay up against the net and stop there, lethargic, just lay alongside but not getting tangled in the webbing.
We’d draw up to where they lay and scoop them with the net, holding the cork line which floated, in one hand and the lead line from the bottom in the other hand, up out of the water. They’d never make a move to get away.
Looking ahead we could see them lying there, a shadow of an elongated shape and a glint of yellow gold from partly opened mouths. Getting closer we’d see spots on the upper half of their bodies and colors iridescent through the clear water and bright light. Holding them finally, we’d see details of scale texture and scale size, color and patterning of black spots surrounded by light rings of grayish white against a background of upper body light brown, a clear underbelly of white. Their gill covers might be lightly, paled bronze and barely discernible would be hues of pink and greens.
What unique and beautiful creatures. Just one of…how many? And if we were to draw up close and cast a curious, slow, probing eye upon any one of God’s creations… just pick one… details would present themselves, details always there but seeing now what was not seen before… hues and colors, size and shape, physical features of each individual little part of them.
I guess that is why words like whole hearted and diligent and patient are used in our Father’s Word in reference to seeking Him and knowing Him, His character and His ways… because we miss so much in just the casual and fleeting glances, all we think apparently, we have time for.
So it is with His Word. We push off from shore into our reading, cruise slowly along the shorelines and shallows and depths of what is written, going to the places we’ve been before and know and trust to be productive grounds. We look from the surface down into living waters and glean a shadow of something. We slowly draw up closer and a thought is there we scoop up and bring near. Unhurried nearness, close inspection, yields detail. What we saw from afar as but a shadow becomes more defined, takes on fuller, even new meaning. The closer we look the more we see and experience of our Father’s Goodness and His beauty.
We capture it and feed on it. But it does not die. At the right time we release it back still alive, hopefully to be caught again, into an unending action of catch and release that feeds and nourishes each fisherman who is searching be they the experienced or the inexperienced. Oh to be a catcher, oh to be caught.
Father… we love You so much.
All of Your creation is evidence and witness of Your …”eternal power and divine nature…”
Who of us can claim ignorance of You when what You have made is there before us all?
Who can see it in its order and beauty and faithfulness and not know You are, and not see You in it??
Who cannot, merely by its existence alone, hear creation’s praise to You and it
glorifying You… from the rocks on the ground to the searching heart of human beings.
We love You Father.
We love the joy we have in knowing we are Yours…
that we have worth in Your eyes and we are Yours… and that
those You value and love, who love You in return, are safe and secure,
that those who do not know You, You still desire.
Teach us Father…diligence and patience and a humble spirit, to know Your Word, to be in it searching continually.
And please Father… reward us in our efforts with a closer, more detailed and intimate closeness to You… joy and pleasure of You and all Your creation.
In Yeshua’s name we pray,
May God’s love be in us all.
Romans 1:20 CJB.