I used to love to fish! I especially loved to fish when it was just me and my dad, out on the lake. I loved rough water, high waves, and catching the BIGGEST fish of the day! I was known for it! My husband would say that even if I didn’t catch the biggest fish, I would always catch the most interesting or unusual fish. The one nobody had ever seen before. I loved being out on the water better than fishing from shore. So much so that when we were newlyweds, living up in Massena NY, I bought a blow-up boat and made my husband drop it in the St. Lawerence Seaway, for what I was sure would be an epic adventure. I was sure I would have some great fish stories to tell. Well...there was a story alright but it wasn’t about the giant and unusual fish Carrie caught, it was more along the lines of almost being run over by an ocean liner, and being swept into such a strong current that we were not sure if we were going to get out of! There was also the part where Troy had to jump into the water and pull us back to shore through seaweed that was so thick that we could row through it.
When we finally got to shore Troy had two requests of me...his young bride: get rid of the blow-up boat and NEVER speak of it this again. Well, I honored one of those requests. The second was taken out of my hands when he went to work the next day and learned that someone had seen him...out on the mighty St. Lawrence...in a blow-up rubber boat. Needless to say, he never heard the end of it. It became a story larger than life, far more terrifying and dangerous than it actually was. Like most fish stories, the facts got exaggerated a little more each time the story was told. It became more incredible, more miraculous, more heroic.
The fish story I want to tell you today is all of that and more...
Imagine the fish story the first disciples had to tell! How they fished all night with no success, how this random stranger showed up and suddenly their nets were so full it almost capsized their boat. How it took the strength of many just to haul in the catch. Perhaps their story included the man walking on water even before they knew he actually could!
What about Mary when she found the empty tomb. She ran back to tell the others what she had found. It must have sounded like quite a fish story. "Come on Mary…ALIVE? I’m sure you are exaggerating. Perhaps you meant gone, you mean they moved his body, right? "
Or how about Mary, The mother of Jesus…”Joseph, I’m pregnant but it’s not what you think. See this giant angel came and stood before me..light was everywhere! He told me not to be afraid. In fact, he told me to have great joy. He said I am going to have a baby and that God is the father.” There is no way Joseph could believe that one until he had his own encounter with God.
We tend to think of fish stories as exaggerated or untrue...at least partly. BUT…When it comes to Jesus showing up in your life, it is incredible, it is miraculous, it is heroic...it is all those things and more and it is THE TRUTH. Because HE is the way the truth and the life. No need to exaggerate.
Some say the Bible is one big fish story to which I say “yes it is”. The greatest fish story ever told of a man who called us out of the darkness and into the light; of a man to willingly suffered and died for us and our children and their children.
Today I’d like to ask you…do you know your “Fish story”?
What is your first memory of encountering Jesus?
How did you feel? Did it change you in any way?
Did you tell anyone about it? Do you still?
CHALLENGE: I’d like to give you each a 2 part challenge this week.
- Write your “Fish Story” the encounter(s) you’ve had with Jesus, what God has done in your life and how it has changed you. It might not be your very first encounter with Jesus that you chose to share but the one that may have had the biggest impact on you.
- Once you’ve done that, I want you to share it with at least one person. If you are really brave, share a post or do a live video, or comment here. Tell your story!
Some people may not believe you. Some may say it’s a fish story to which you can enthusiastically reply…YES IT IS!
I invite you to watch more of this story from my latest episode of Tea Talk Tuesday on the faithandrealife.com Youtube channel: