The winter blues has me missing warmer weather and the outdoor activities that accompany it. One of my favorite summer pastimes is a family fishing day. Our family of four would regularly pack up to spend a few hours at our local reservoir.
My husband and son would identity their best spot and set up their fishing rods. My daughter and I would locate the nearest bench and watch from uphill. Both enjoying the scenery and supporting their efforts from slightly afar.
My husband spent countless times showing our son how to cast the fishing line. At times, he modeled it using his own pole. Other times, he cast our sons line for him. And the rest of the times, our independent toddler opted to cast the line himself. Often, getting it caught in the weeds on the bank.
I can’t say that much fishing was truly had. As a spectator, it both tickled and frustrated me to witness. I often wanted to take the matter into my own hands. But I now understand that the learning experience for our son was a integral part of becoming skillful for later on in life.
I see how I relate to my toddler in a spiritual sense. I want to be so independent and say, “I’ve seen this done before, I can handle this.” Then, I cast all my efforts into my circumstances. And most often, it results in me getting tangled up in life’s weeds. Any spectator would be both tickled or frustrated to watch my efforts.
Nearly every time this entanglement happens, I become all too fearful. Look at the mess I’ve made. Can you help me out, Lord? Where are you? And yet He’s right there with me. Just as my husband is close by our son’s side. Waiting patiently and ready to help.
The Holy Spirit reminds me; look at the model of Jesus and how He cast Himself in love to others- in life and in death. He is the greatest example and points us back to our perfect Father.
[Jesus speaking] I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. (John 13:15 NLT) Since you are children of a perfect Father in heaven, you are to be perfect like him.” (Matthew 5:48 TPT)
And how can one be perfected like our heavenly Father? By becoming the image of Him, which is love.
God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. (1 John 4:9-10, 16-17 NLT)
The Holy Spirit also reminds me what to do when I’ve gotten myself tangled up in fears; give it all over to the holy One. He is love. He is perfect. And He will cast your fearful circumstances far away from you.
Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment.. (1 John 4:17-18 NKJV)
The combination of following Jesus’ modeled example, God’s perfect love, and casting away our fears can be interwoven in the following guideline: It is written.
By casting my self in His love, I am to take His word and put it into practice. Whether in speech, in actions, in behaviors. Whether I think I have it all figured out, or I don’t. Whether I make the cast and get tangled up in life’s circumstances. I can trust that each experience is an integral part of becoming skillful for later in this life. But only because my heavenly Father is always and forever present. And His helpfulness to my efforts points to His goodness, greatness, and glory.
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.- Psalms 46:1-3, 10-11 NLT