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Today’s excerpt from “Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World,” is about finding ways to help others. You don’t have to go to another country to be a missionary. You can find ways to help others right in your neighborhood, or in your own church.
Are You Standing on a Whale Fishing for Minnows?
I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service, and perseverance,
and that you are now doing more than you did at first.
One of my favorite pastimes is fishing. I don’t go as much as I would like to, but when my two sons, my son-in-law, and my good friend Jim go fishing each year, we have a great time. We have a contest to see who catches: the first fish, the most fish, the biggest fish, and the prettiest fish. It makes the time out in the boat a little more exciting.
So, of course, I am always looking for that first fish. I never seem to be the lucky guy who catches the first one, but when someone lands that first one, it is the most exciting moment. Everyone in the boat gets pumped. They begin to watch their own lines more closely. It gets the game started to see who will win in the other categories.
Many times in the past, I have looked for something that would help me be a better person—to be a winner. I needed to catch that first fish to get me excited about having a purpose in life. I tried to find ways that I could help others. This was a struggle because of my own insecurities and doubt. I thought at one time that I would not succeed at anything—that I would never catch any fish. I didn’t know what my purpose was. I questioned why I should keep looking for something that would improve me. I also thought that I shouldn’t be trying to help others if I couldn’t even help myself. I wasn’t getting any bites.
I see many people with this affliction. They go through life trying to find their purpose and never accomplish anything. Vincent Van Gogh said, “What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything.” We spend too much time doubting that we can accomplish anything. But there is one thing we are successful at: Accomplishing nothing!
Teddy Roosevelt also had something to say about this: “In a moment of decision the best thing to do is the right thing; the worst thing to do is nothing.”
It’s very possible that what you’ve been looking for in your life is right under your nose. It is the old, “I can’t see the forest for the trees” thinking. There are many things God gives us that are part of His purpose, but we never realize they are part of what He wants for us.
Try looking around and see if God has a purpose for you—something that is staring you right in the face. It could be that first fish wanting to bite your bait. It could be right in your home church. Do you enjoy talking to children? There are many volunteers needed in the Sunday school department. People are needed to usher (that’s what I do), sing in the choir, help in your church’s information center, be a greeter, or be on a prayer team.
It could be somewhere at your workplace. Your work is not only how you provide for your family. In fact, your job might be more rewarding if you realized God put you there for a purpose. Since God has placed you there, find ways that you can serve Him as you do your job.
Many people are Christian soldiers on Sundays—and AWOL on Mondays. We need to think about God and how He may want to use us for His glory. He talks to us all the time, but sadly, many people do not listen. He gives us all we need to catch many fish. We have many possibilities for close encounters with God and we often let them pass by.
Try fishing in the morning newspaper. Look over the articles. Study the stories. Where is there a spot where you can have fun and still serve God? God may want you to volunteer at the YMCA or as a Big Brother or Sister. There are many children who need adult guidance, who do not have a parent to give it to them.
As the verse at the beginning says: “I know your deeds ….” I wonder what God thinks of my deeds at this point? Does He think I have served Him well? Am I listening to Him and following His lead? Or am I standing on whale fishing for minnows?
We need to open our eyes and thinking to what God has in mind for each of us. He wants the best for us, and it’s time to stop fishing for minnows! There are many big fish out there, and He wants us to catch some of them for Him. Let’s not delay. Let’s cast out our lines and catch that first fish.
Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning.
It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in that faith and in the knowledge of
the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest
if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people,
especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Think about what your goals in life are. Do you have something you feel you would like to accomplish? Is it the purpose God has in mind for you for serving Him? Go for it! Step up to the plate and hit a home run.
Something to Ponder
Isn’t it funny that when you give rather than receive you feel much better?