And He said to them, follow me and I will make you fishers of men. Matthew 4:19 ESV
Few things are as relaxing and peaceful to me as sitting beside a quiet mountain stream and fishing for trout. This evening I had the opportunity to do just that at our camp in the Sangre De Christo Mountains. I was able to steal away for a few precious moments and hooked three nice little brook trout. I do some of my best thinking with a pole in my hand, so time fishing turned my thoughts toward the Lord and His plans for my life.
Last summer, the camp we host our programs at, there was only a small trickle in the stream that fronts its property. What a difference a year makes. This year due to bountiful winter snow and spring rains, the creek is bubbling and full of life. As I eyed the depths of several dark pools trying to read the current and look for the best spots for my prey, I was struck by the uncertain nature of fishing. There really is no telling from the surface whether or not a pool is empty or holds an abundance. You just have to cast your line and work the ripples and eddies until you feel that tell-tell tug on the other end.
Jesus talked a great deal about fishing. His first disciples were fishermen. When he called them to follow Him, he used an illustration that they could easily understand. They would no longer be fishing for fish, but would be fishing for men.
As I sat by the creek this evening I thought deeply about what has really brought me to these beautiful mountains. Yes, I enjoy playing with the local trout and teasing them with lures, but I’m not really here to fish for them; I’m after a much more valuable quarry, the souls of men. Unlike fishing though, this is no trivial pursuit, it’s about laying down our lives in service to others. It’s about demonstrating to them the love of Christ in a real and tangible way that they might come to know Him and follow Him with all their hearts. It’s about bearing others’ burdens and showing them the grace and acceptance my Savior has shown me.
I am so thankful to be a part of a ministry that is truly making a difference by helping people come to know Jesus and walk more closely in relationship with Him. I’m thankful for the long hard days of summer camp and the many opportunities to be the hands and feet of Jesus to campers. I’m thankful for the many prayer partners and supporters that make this ministry possible. I’m thankful that God has called me to be a fisher of men.