Have you ever wanted something with all your heart? You dream about it. You pray about. You constantly try to prove yourself in hopes it will finally be enough...
For the past few years, my only birthday request has been to go fishing. It's not about the fishing to be honest. Yes, being as high strung as I am, I do need something that promotes me doing nothing and forces me to sit still, but the main highlight is the time spent with my husband and that of my friend, who has been like a Dad to me, that always joins us.
I am highly competitive so my primary goal is to catch the most fish. It also never fails that at some point during my great outdoor adventure, a very large fish...bigger than any fish ever witnessed in this particular pond...breaks my line and somehow outsmarts me yet again. This in turn means next year, we have to return in hopes of me finally catching my nemesis.
As I stood in between these two people...two people that only endure the blistering mid-day heat of July to make me happy...I found myself getting more and more agitated. On either side of me, they were catching fish after fish. It seemed completely effortless. Meanwhile, here I impatiently sat...then stood...then paced...then reeled in my line and looked at my bait that hadn't been touched...wondering what could be wrong.
After about an hour of frustratingly remaining in the same spot without anything to show for my efforts, I decided to walk to another side of the pond. I noticed that on this side of the pond, if I paid close attention I could actually see the fish as they swam near my line. Almost instantly upon casting my line into the water, I had a bite and a catch. This happened time and time again while I remained in this particular spot of the pond. This was "my" spot.
As I began to gain confidence in my spot, I started thinking about my past year in ministry. The past few years have been some of the hardest times in my personal and professional life. After working as a Paralegal for nearly eleven years, I felt called to move into ministry in more of a full-time capacity. Then after taking on some additional responsibilities and it not working as planned, I left what I knew and loved for a full-time role that seemed like the job I had been praying and working for years to achieve. But even that didn't pan out as I planned.
This past year has been one of constant changes. Constant prayer. And honestly, constant questioning of my purpose, my abilities and myself. I play by the book. I follow the rules. I want to follow an A to Z plan for how to achieve my goals and the desires of my heart.
Just like with fishing, there are certain places where I want to remain. There are certain people that I want on either side of me, both in life and in ministry. But just like that hot July day, sometimes God asks you to move to a different section of the "pond." Sometimes you find yourself seemingly alone watching from another section as your family and friends carry on with their conversations and lives. It's easy in those times to watch from the other side and wonder why you can't be there too.
But I have learned that's okay. They are still on the other side of the pond supporting me, but for me to be successful, I need "my" spot. Because I found my spot of the pond where I could more clearly see what was happening and felt confident there, I was able to catch more fish. The same is true with ministry and other aspects of life.
John 21:3-7 says, “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered. He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him and jumped into the water.
God gave you a specific calling on your life. Your journey is not going to look like someone else's. There may be similarities...those similarities can even help you form relationships and friendships with others...but no one's journey is going to be exactly the same. When I stopped focusing on my fear of missing out in the conversation happening across the pond, I began to enjoy the peace found in my spot.
At one point my husband Josh even tried to come fish in my section of the pond and was unsuccessful. He had his spot and I had mine. Someone may be where you want to be. You may be where they want to be. But only God knows where you should be.
Exodus 9:16 reminds us, "But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”
I know I have certain desires in my heart that I have no logical clue how they will ever come to pass, but I also know God knows better than I. He has made promises to me that have both come to pass and others that I am still waiting to see fulfilled. It is in this waiting time as I continue to fish from the spot He has provided, that all He asks me to do is trust Him.
Psalm 37:4-11 reads,
"Take delight in the LORD,
and He will give you your heart’s desires.
Commit everything you do to the LORD.
Trust Him, and He will help you.
He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
Be still in the presence of the LORD,
and wait patiently for Him to act.
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper
or fret about their wicked schemes.
Stop being angry!
Turn from your rage!
Do not lose your temper—
it only leads to harm.
For the wicked will be destroyed,
but those who trust in the LORD will possess the land.
Soon the wicked will disappear.
Though you look for them, they will be gone.
The lowly will possess the land
and will live in peace and prosperity."
Today let's focus on where we are and where God is possibly asking us to move. Are you living from a location of peace? Or are you remaining stagnant in a particular place without anything to show for your efforts? <3