Some Days the Fish, Some Days the Bait
By Jodi Whisenhunt –
My husband and brother used to fish together. Used to, that is, until one day when the bait nearly hooked the wrong fish.
The two men waded chest-deep into a small stream. My husband held his reel, flipped it back to cast, and heard, “Yeeeow!” He had smacked my brother in the cheek with a bloody chicken liver. Fortunately, the hook did not set. My brother, however, did back upstream another twenty feet.
“‘Come, follow Me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men’” (Matthew 4:19 NIV). My husband must have taken that verse literally. I have to wonder, though, if Jesus had told them they’d be the bait, would the disciples so quickly have bitten the hook? It’s easier to tell someone about Jesus with words than it is to live out faith. It’s a lot easier to stand in front of a large crowd and speak than it is to lose an infant daughter, suffer disease, watch your mother die, and proclaim your love for the Lord while maintaining your hope in Him. It’s way harder to smile through pain than to say, “Jesus died for you.”
Bait. When you can be the answer to the question of how a loving God allows bad things to happen, you are the bait.
When men cast lures into the water, they can’t see the fish. They can’t see the fish. When you are in the midst of a trial, you’re often too submerged in murky misery to see what you’re fishing for. In those times, pray God will remove the cloudy me-ness and make apparent those who are missing His message. Find them in their hiding places, like the bass among the branches. They are often hard to spot through the fog of, “I’m fine,” but they hunger for the healing that only Jesus can provide. Sometimes living out faith is the only way to catch and relieve a desperate soul.
Gently reel if you feel a tug. Offer sincerity, or you’ll break the line. Reveal God’s provision. Be the bait, meet the fish’s need, and you will demonstrate that God works all things for the benefit of those who love Him and allow His control.
May it not hurt to be the bait.