DON’T SLAP THE WATER                                                                                                          Andy Hollifield 11-29-16

Upon finding out about a pastor friend, with a heart for his people, being discouraged because he wasn’t seeing the Lord move in their lives as fast as he wanted to; God gave me a thought to share with him that I want to share with all of you. Don’t feel bad when you read it, it hit me between the eyes too. My friend was frustrated because he said he just can’t seem to get Jesus across to them and make them understand. I can relate to that because as we all know, who wouldn’t want him if they knew how wonderful he truly is? God brought to my mind a fishing experience that I had back in the spring of 1999. The reason I remember the year and season is because I was recuperating from knee surgery and passing the time bass fishing in a small farm pond. The bass were spawning so they were easily visible from the bank. The only problem was that since they were spawning they were very protective of the eggs in their beds and weren’t interested in any bait I had to offer. They would push the hook away from the bed but they just wasn’t interested in biting. You could literally drag the hook across their nose and they would not hit at all. You could sometimes catch the occasional small fish that wasn’t guarding a bed but you could see fish 18-24 inches long but they would not bite. Anyone that has ever fished knows just how frustrating that can be. After trying live bait such as worms, minnows, crickets, and even a grasshopper nothing was working. I tried artificial bait including spinners, rapalas, rubber worms and crawfish, and even sprayed stuff on the bait and lures that was guaranteed to work. Guess what, it didn’t! Now a REAL fisherman might have caught something but I never claimed to be a real fisherman.

After a couple of hours of this drama, I begin to notice a breeze begin to stir a little bit. It was nothing major but I couldn’t see the fish anymore for the ripples in the water. I had accidentally slapped the water a time or two when my line would tangle as I tried to cast. Each time I had disturbed the water, the fish would swim off for a little bit and eventually come back. This time however, I noticed something different; as the breeze picked up some clouds began to roll in. Instead of swimming off, I began to get a little nibble here and there. Then I would get a big strike! Before I knew it, I was having the time of my life and catching fish as fast as I could get one of the hook. Although I couldn’t see them they had began to bite! What had happened was that a weather front had moved in and even though I couldn’t see the changes going on under the surface, the fish knew! It wasn’t me disturbing the water but someone much greater that “he commandeth even the winds and water and they obey him.” (Luke 8:25) The moral of the story is this: Keep fishing and don’t slap the water! Just cause you can’t see what God is doing, don’t mean he isn’t doing anything. You may have to do like Simon In Luke 5:5 “….we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net”. Maybe you haven’t got deep enough yet, as Jesus had said in verse 4 or like he said in John 21:6 you’ve got to “Cast the net on the right side…”. Be assured of one thing; there is nothing wrong with the bait so just keep fishing and don’t slap the water! The front will move in eventually. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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