I have been familiar with this man at sea since I was a little girl. He hung on our living room wall for years and just recently, my son George asked his Jaja if he could have it. Now, the familiar man at sea hangs on our wall. While teaching the boys homeschool, I found myself staring at the picture, and thought, perhaps this man represents something more.
We looked at the picture of the man at sea and I was inspired to teach them what God was revealing to me. “Boys, this is sometimes what it looks like to be a fisher of men. Notice there are just 2 fish in his little boat. He probably fished a long time to get them. The fog is coming in and the waves are rolling high, as he is rowing against the current.” I continued to teach them that God asks us to be fishers of men, and what that means. We had some fun laughs about it, but I also reminded them that the world can feel like this back current, pushing against us as we proclaim truth that we bring. It may be scary, but the reward is life forever for each person that stops pushing against the current and believes, and God is always with us, guiding us on the journey.
I enjoyed our little conversation that day, but the more I’ve been staring at this fisherman, the more convicted I have become. I’m noticing in my walk with Jesus, that as the waves get higher and the fog gets darker, I feel more fear to share my faith. That is probably why I taught my boys that this can be hard. I look at people and do not want to inconvenience them or I find it hard to even know what to say or where to start. I’m noticing that everyone is offended so easily, that I don’t want to open my mouth because I dislike confrontation and even more than that, I do not want to offend anyone. I want to watch my words so carefully, that no words are coming out. Am I alone in this?
Keep looking at the painting, do you notice something? As I was feeling this regret with myself, I noticed the man on the boat was looking towards the sailboat that floated before him. That man was determined to paddle those fish towards the main boat, to get them to Him. To keep the endurance when the waves seem like they might gobble him up. He reminds me to keep our gaze on Jesus and get the fish to where they need to go, no matter what it may look like around us. Get them to him with trust, with love and kindness and with endurance because our desire for people and their life should be that strong.
You see, God always goes before us, He guides us in our words, in our actions and in our attempt to reach the lost. When we keep our desire, our eyes, and our hearts toward Him, it is all worth it. Let the fear of man, the fear of the offenses and negative reactions fall at the feet of Jesus, the one who took on the weight of the whole world, so we could get to Him. Where is our passion for rowing against the waves for the lost? I know mine has been drowned in fear lately, and if you’re like me in this, maybe this week God in encouraging us all to get our heads back out of the water and be the fishers of men that He calls us all to be. To share His Word with reverence, to speak His name with boldness and show the world His great and mighty love.