Let’s take a moment to consider the kinds of dangers that a fisherman must face on a daily basis:
Because the ocean is prone to sudden, thick fog, fishermen who set out from their fishing vessels in dories are constantly at risk of losing sight of their boats. In addition, the sudden squalls and storms quickly overtake fishing vessels, especially when their holds are so full of fish that they lie low in the water, and especially, as is most often the case, if the boat is older and less seaworthy! Danger lurks around every corner, but these don’t stop them from fulfilling their purpose in life: fishing to feed others. Even though the fishing industry is rated as one of the most dangerous occupations in the world, it doesn’t faze them. They have a job to do, and they will make sure they do it well!
In the olden days before the marine radio was invented, the dangers were even more pronounced. Numerous vessels damaged by storms drifted for weeks before being found. Anxious wives and children waited desperately for the return of their spouses and fathers.
Statistics in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, indicates the loss of 80 vessels in that town alone, with nearly half of them losing all hands onboard. A total of 650 fishermen from Lunenburg alone have been lost at sea. Multiply this statistic by the number of tiny sea towns in the world, and the numbers of fishermen lost at sea becomes staggering!
To be a fisherman you need two things: faith and persistence. Maybe we could learn a lesson or two from them, especially after Jesus’ famous question: “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8 NIV)
As I look around me, I ponder what has happened to the heroes of faith. Too often we put the words of the negative media above the Word of God, creating undue anxiety. Too many times we put the promises of tempting temptations above the promises of God, creating a life of defeat instead of one of victory. More often than not we trust the discouraging depths of adversity rather than the faithfulness of God. As a result, we create excessive and unnecessary worries.
Is it possible that we are deceiving ourselves?
I have noticed that faith and worry cannot go hand in hand. We either have faith or we have worries. Worrying is a sign that we do not trust God. Yes, we are in big trouble as more are those who worry (Me included!) than those who don’t!
But Jesus is quite clear on this topic: “If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ Or ‘What shall we drink?’ Or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” (Matt 6:30-33 NIV)
When we have an as caring of a Father as our God, we have absolutely no reason to worry. If God was willing to sacrifice His own son in order to save us from sin, we can be guaranteed that He will always come through for us!
I guess that our over-worrying has made us unintentionally drift away from what faith truly means. Have we really deceived ourselves so much?
“Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk. (1 Peter 2:1-2 NIV)
“Do not deceive yourselves.” (1 Cor 3:18 NIV)
It is time that we, too, face the elements with as much faith and persistence as these fishermen. Let’s get rid of the unnecessary burden known as worry. It only hinders us from reaching our full potential in God!
(To access the entire “Awake!” devotional series, please click here.)