Monday, August 3, 2015

Catch and Release

A prodigal son, I soften my heart towards him more everyday, hoping and praying he softens his towards the things of God. Its not that he doesn't believe, its just, you know... the tug of the world, time, judgment, expectations and habits and...

He came to me this week, "Look mom, I'm in one of the pictures for the boat."  (not planned). 

He shows me on his phone the web site for his favorite charter fishing boat. I see two young kids showing off their "big" catches of Yellow tail. Behind them, sitting up top, a profile of my son looking out onto the water, getting a good perspective of the vast ocean. 

I ask him, "How come you aren't catching these big fellas?" 

"I don't know, someday I will." 

"You're a great fisherman," I say. 

"No mom," he says, "I'm an average fisherman. Did I tell you what happened?"

He proceeds to tell me a "fish story."

"I thought I had one, a big one. I fought my line to bring it up. I knew it wasn't something I just snagged, for I felt the 'tug-tug' on the line of something.  I reeled and pulled, and the deck hand came by my side in anticipation of the fish coming up. I pulled it in, disappointed to see a piece of fan coral and the rock it attached itself to, my line snagging it. Having a double line, there was a smaller fish attached to the first hook,  the one I felt tugging--pulling the "rock" in," my reel broke."

"You broke your reel?" I said in sympathy.

"Its OK. time for a new one anyway." 


Facebook Post: August 3, 2015, a few days after the above conversation. 

Drenched in sweat and quite overheated, she came in through the slider where the bottom of the stair beckoned her to sit. Kicking off her tennis shoes and socks, her feet throbbing as the perspiration ran into her eyes, stinging. She hit pause on her app and then hit finish, the music drowning in her sweaty ears. The song's lyrics repeated, "You're not finished with me yet..." "Oh, yes I am, she thought," as her walk recorded her stats. Just then, the orange butterfly that appears everyday flew by the slider to play in the garden right outside the door. Overwhelmed with sudden emotion brought on by shear heat exhaustion, she guzzled the last of her water and then proceeded up stairs to shower. Flipping the switch, the radio relayed encouragement. "Holy Spirit, You are welcome here, come flood this place and fill the atmosphere;" the song she loves, plays again. Suddenly she is reminded of a story told to her this week and also, something she's been praying for, for awhile. God connects the story in the way she understands, in words she needs to write and metaphors that hold weight. The emotion comes again, not from exhaustion, but from refreshment and encouragement, for the presence of the Holy Spirit moves in her atmosphere, revealing, reassuring, that despite all her sweat, her tears, her persistent knocking, God says, "I hear you and I am on my way."

We've all got our line hooked into a burden. We fight it with all our strength to get through it, to see the victory at the end. That is what we concentrate on. It zaps all our strength, expends our resources, disappointes those who wait with us. Yet, God has attached another line, a line of salvation baited with His Grace.  Did we forget about that one?  We can feel it, the tug-tug of His presence, letting us know He is there and we fight for everything else only to see our burden revealed, our weight of the world leaving us feeling defeated...just average, not worthy.

BUT GOD...He is tugging, linked through the hooks of prayers that cast their nets of hope into the sea of Your mercy, for the catching of the heart of our prodigals. You my son, are not just average. God guides you, seeing through the murky waters of doubt and looks upon you as divine, worthy, gifted and purposed for something amazing. 

I hear Him this morning tell me this, in the atmosphere of Holy Spirit conversations, fishing stories, walking feet and music. God reminds me of the conversation with my son and whispers to me, Yes, I am "tugging" on His heart, don't give up the fight. His "someday" is on deck and in My timing, I am preparing Him for bigger fish within the ocean of my grace. He continues to minister to me...

You see? He is not giving up, planning ahead for a new reel. I hear your prayers. He keeps going back to that same boat, the same spots, where My glory awaits him. Amazing Love, I promise to lure him gently back,  leaving the burdens behind on the bottom of the sandy sea. Keep directing Him to the spots where my Goodness waits. He is listening. 

Catch Him Lord, I pray. Release the burden, cut the line with so many barnacles of real or unreal obstacles,  and sink it. Allow Him to pull into Your Amazing Grace and Forgiveness. Help him to recognize Your tug from the tug of the world. Forever, In faith, I wait and anticipate the snap shot of victory. Amen 

(and as I type this last word, the song "Holy Spirit" comes on the radio once again).  God is so Good!