Saturday, October 8, 2016


“….Come be my disciples, and I will show you how to fish for people.” Matthew 4:19a

Our young grandson gets excited when he catches a fish. He did not learn all by himself. His dad taught him how to fish. One of our Turkish friends likes deep sea fishing. He is always up to a big challenge. Someone taught him how, also. Once he brought home a 90 pound tuna fish. I did not know fish could get that big! I do not know much about fishing but I do know there is a difference between fishing close to shore and fishing in deep waters. If I were to go fishing I certainly would need someone to teach me because I don’t have a clue how to go about it. The same could be said about "spiritual fishing".

I passed by the parking lot of a big church on my way to visit Habiba. The parking lot was full of cars like usual. The Alpha program, mid-week Bible studies and children’s clubs are well attended. Men, women and children come by the hundreds into the church. The staff do not even need to go out to bring them in. They just walk in. How is that possible?! It is amazing and wonderful. As I settled into visiting Habiba I reflected on how challenging it was to make initial contact with her. There was suspicion at first because I am a Christian but eventually she allowed me to come. She certainly was not going to come to me on her own. It took a lot of prayer to make that possible. Then I had to wade through huge cultural differences and language barrier. When faith issues started to surface it became hard work as darkness and light clashed and fear set in. After one particular exhausting visit and walking past the church’s full parking lot it dawned on me that when I visit Habiba it is like deep sea fishing. It requires extremely hard spiritual work and perseverance. This ‘fish’ is way out in the deep waters. She is not ready or willing to walk into the church across the street. Someone needs to go to her way out there in the deep waters, far from shore.

 In the spiritual realm both kinds(deep water and more shallow water) of ‘fishing’ need to be done. Thank God there are many ‘fish’ easy to catch. He also knows there are some pretty special ‘fish’ out in the deep waters that need catching, too. Jesus taught His disciples how to ‘fish’ for both. Jesus’ words and imagery sound kind of strange, “I will teach you how to catch men.” I am glad He does not just send us out ‘fishing’ but teaches us how. I have come to love ‘fishing’ in the deep waters even if it is strenuous and requires perseverance and endurance. I am with my Master Teacher who made the ‘fish’. He is an expert on the subject of ‘fishing’ for the souls of people. I keep learning from Him.

Dear heavenly Father, please teach me more about fishing for people. In Jesus’ name, Amen.