A great group of guys, assisted by some wonderful women, put on our Kid's Fishing Derby recently. Chilly Saturday morning. Layers & coats. Cold fingers & nippy noses. Yet fun to be out no matter the temperature.
My pal Woody kept all the lines straight. Pulled all the catches off. Even took pix. He made our lakeside point the place to be. Woody did all the work before & after each cast. Fun for the kids, and me, thanks to Woody.
My own JM caught plenty. Reeling them in. Feeling their scales. Releasing them to disappear. Playing with the worms. Sitting on the rocks. Then. He gave into the siren call of the nearby playground.
A new, young buddy came along just then. Grandson of sweet church member. Son of a super Mama. Hadn't caught any yet.
"I wanna catch a fish," my buddy said.
He tried to cast. Needed a little coaching. When to push the button.
Buddy caught on quick. Got the casting down.
Then it was patience. He'd reel in too quick & jerky.
Again coaching. Slow it down. Little at a time. We've been catching them right out there all morning.
Another cast. Slower. He was listening.
Another cast. No fish. Buddy was getting antsy. Impatient. I could tell.
He was doing it. Right technique. Right spot.
"Woody, we gotta get this boy a fish," I said. Then I remembered a story I'd heard a famous preacher tell. How he'd been fishing. Catching none. And felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit to pray for fish. He'd argued, "Something so simple, Lord? Surely I shouldn't waist prayers on this." Then he was reminded of the Disciples. Four of them fisherman. And how Jesus miraculously blessed them. So our preacher friend prayed. And God gave him a whopper. It really was a whopper of a fish because he's a good preacher fella & would never tell a whopper of a fish story.
So. I prayed.
"God, you are THE God of everything. Even the fish in this lake. You know this boy wants a fish. He's been working so hard God. He's listening to instruction. He keeps trying. Give my Buddy a fish." And then with weak, limited boldness I added, "And, please give it to him on the next cast."
I'll admit I didn't tell Woody my prayer. My faith about fish was weak. Maybe my faith was weak, period.
Buddy cast. Reeled it in a bit. Easy like he'd learned.
My heart was pounding. Watching that bobber.
And it hit. A fish. A fish!
Buddy reeled it in fast.
Little bluegill. All Buddy needed. He was so proud.
Little bluegill. All I needed. I was so humbled.
Buddy needed a fish.
I needed faith.
Thank God for that fish. A fish to strengthen my faith.
What do you need, my Friend?
Have you asked in Jesus' name?
According to his will?
To glorify God?
May God give you faith to ask. Faith to persevere. Faith.
May God answer your prayer.