My dad loves to fish. I remember him loving to fish even when I was a little girl. He especially liked to fish with his pal, Bill Miller and continues to go fishing with his buddy, Noie to this day. Sometimes they catch a few but most of the time they come back with more funny stories than fish!
Dad has tried many kinds of tactics to catch fish. Artificial bait. Live bait. Squishy “jelly-like” worms. Jitterbug (whatever that means). Other names of baits I can’t remember. He’s tried this type of fishing pole and that type of fishing pole. This type of reel and that type of reel. He fishes from a pontoon boat, a fishing boat, a john boat and from the bank. Sometimes he catches fish and sometimes he doesn’t.
When my sister and I were little we would go fishing with him. When my girls were little they would fish with him and their dad at our pond. The hardest part for all of us girls when we were little was getting that fish off the hook. It would squirm…then be real still. We would slowly reach up to wrap our hands around that fish to let it off the hook…. and BAM! It would flop again and we would scream! But when one of the guys took the fish off the hook, a lot of time they would let it go back into the water.
In life today I find we tend to keep people on the hook. We have expectations of how things in this world should be and when they don’t happen up to our expectations, we don’t let people off the hook. Maybe our spouse doesn’t appreciate all that we do for him or her. Maybe our kids don’t thank us enough for doing their laundry or giving them money. Maybe they don’t act the way they were taught or respect authority as they know it.
Maybe the coach isn’t coaching the way we think he should coach or the boss isn’t managing the way we think he should manage. Maybe we beat our own selves up for not living up to our own high expectations.
Whatever the case, I ask you one simple question that was asked to me in one of my Bible studies – who do you need to let off the hook today? Who isn’t living up to your expectations or who has hurt you or harmed you? Whoever it is, ask God to help you let them off the hook today.
Jesus was the greatest fisherman of all times. And He is the only one that can control the circumstances involving our fish. Clear the hook. Give Him the fishing pole. Sit back in the boat and watch the Master Fishmerman lead those fish, His way, right into the net of eternal life. They may flip and flop and fall out of the net but Jesus gives every fish the opportunity to live forever with Him. As we watch, we will be amazed at how He works things out His way in His timing.
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.