Psalm 37:7a – Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways. (NIV)
Pushing off from shore, and rowing to the other side of the lake, I could see a rugged piece of land that rose out of the water like a cliff, from where I could look down into the crystal clear waters to the ledge below. This, I was told, is where the big one is.
Weighing anchor, I sat quietly in the cool of the early morning, preparing my fishing rod for the task that lay ahead. I did everything I knew. I took the line, put on what I thought was just the right weight, baited the hook, set the float, and let the line down into the water to what I thought was the proper depth. Now it was up to the fish to make its move. Every once in a while, the float would bob, as a curious fish would take a nibble at the bait.
As I reflected on this time of anticipation and waiting, my mind focused on someone I had been trying to encourage. This person had suffered hard times, and, I felt, was drifting away from their faith. Now I was waiting — realizing that, like the fish, it is up to each individual to make his own move.
There often isn't much difference after we've done all we can to encourage one another, trying to bring one back into the fold. We might say we have done everything we know how to, just as I did in preparing my fishing rod.
So let prayer be our line of communication to God, while we wait quietly. It is in His timing and in His will that the one who we believe is lost will (so to speak) reach out and take the bait.
Then and only then can we reel them in — fish or friend!
Prayer: Dear God, in our mission here on earth, often we find ourselves wanting and trying to help those who have drifted away from You. Praying for them to return to the fold, we need to yield all to You. As we wait and pray for them, help us to understand that You are the One who has the master plan. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.