The concept of fishing is simple enough. And who wouldn’t, at least initially, want to experience the excitement of throwing a line in the water and at some point feel that tug signaling something going on on the other end. “I got something!!”
It can get a little more involved. For instance… there would be a time my father-in-law would feel was right for trout fishing, spotted sea trout by another name, actually Weakfish, in the drum fish family. But I digress. First he cast for what he called Killifish, little top feeders, from the dock or sea wall to use as bait… for... the bait fish. Then it was cane poles and a short boat ride to a spot he knew close to the channel and using the killifish we’d fish for Yellowtails. After we had enough of them, usually thirty or so, in an aerated garbage can, it was rod and reel and off to a spot he knew there where trout, using the live yellowtails as bait. Afternoon and evening to catch bait one day and early morning to midday of the next to catch the “big ones”. Little involved right? Well there is more if you’ve a mind to, you know, if you’ve really got the bug.
What season is it? What’s running, channel bass, “trout”, drum, sheephead, mangrove snapper, pig fish, pompano, whiting, blues, jacks, snook? Do you fish the shallows and flats or the holes and channels, close to shore along the mangroves or out a ways over grass beds or sandy bottom, along seawalls or around pilings, in the surf? What’s the water temperature? What’s the weather been like? What’s the time of day? What do they bite on? And so on.
Man! I’ve got to know all that to catch a measly little fish? Well to the fisherman it is not burdensome to seek after all that knowledge and more. Actually it is a real pleasure to learn new things and add to the knowledge he has already, about the object of his affection. He seeks to know everything about the life, the characteristics, the habits, the environment, the interrelations of one species with another…what make up the life of these creatures under the water, that God created.
Granted…our affection for these creatures and interest in them is not necessarily to their personal benefit, though if we are wise we would want to preserve their existence as a whole. And that may be what I see in the fisherman- fish relationship.
There is a scripture that talks about Yeshua’s affection for His created beings and his calling to them to join in fishing for, to Him, the most valued of prizes.
“…And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon, called Peter, and Andrew, his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishers…” Matthew 4:18 AKJV.
They were “fishers”, I believe in their blood as well as their job, and so His next words would have been inspiring.
“…And He saith unto them, ‘Follow Me , and I will make you fishers of men…” Matthew 4:19 AKJV.
How could they resist the offer of becoming catchers of the most valued of creatures, their fellow man?
Just me, but I like to think that when we are born again from above we are a new person born with a love for fishing, a certain kind of fishing, that is in our blood, in our spirit. We start simple, with faith and trust and a desire to try, do, what our Master Fisherman calls for. As we go we learn more about the cast net and cane pole, rod and reel, the bait that is God’s Word, for capturing the hearts and minds of men, it becoming a more sophisticated tool as we become more learned and skilled in its use.
We know the creature, just one species, its environment, the places it inhabits, the seasons of its life, its vulnerabilities, its worst, its best, its needs and longings… because we know ourselves… and we continue learning. And for the love of the Master and love of the pursuit and its goals the learning is not burdensome. It’s eye opening. It’s enlightening. It’s empowering.
And Importantly, to me, we are willingly captured, not to our demise, but to our benefit. It’s a catch and release sort of thing, for the preservation, of ourselves and others. The outcome is that we live forever no longer as “fish” but now as “fishers”, to and for the glory of Yahweh.
I’ve known others who are naturals and compared to them I’m not much of a fisherman but I do love the pursuit never the less. I love hearing their stories and learning what they teach me from their experiences. Their love inspires the same in me where I am at. Maybe that’s because the spirit of the Fisherman and His will to bring us all to Him, is in us all.
Father…we love You. You care for us. And You desire our love for You in return.
You cast for us… and those who take hold of the Line… You bring to Yourself.
You plant in the new person Your love and care for the objects of Your affection, every one.
You train and equip us to be fishers of men and accompany us in that pursuit that all men be drawn and willingly Your capture…glory to You.
We thank You Father for this day, for Your creation in all its wonder and beauty, for one another, for the good that we can be towards one another through Yeshua, Your Word and Your Spirit.
We thank You for the opportunity to take part in the working and bringing about of Your purpose for us and all who so ever will.
Be with us Father, wherever we are.
In Yeshua’s name we pray,
May God’s love be in us all.