Thursday, March 20, 2014

The One That Didn't Get Away

My husband is learning to fly fish.  A couple of days ago, he pulled our truck to the gravel on the side of the road and fished for awhile in several timid pools along our way, dancing his line across the face of the water with a shallow hope and nothing visibly to show from his endeavors.  The learning curve for this sport is long, cold and wet, this teasing of trout to the surface.

But yesterday afternoon was a little bit different.  On our way to the hardware store, he brought along his pole and lures again, just in case he saw a promising niche of water by the side of the road.  The biggest difference was that he also brought along a plastic Target bag and a net.  Yesterday, he fished not just with a wild wishfulness but expectantly. 

Pray that way.  Pray expectantly, not if God will answer, but how He reveals Himself.  It is not always where we expect, when we want it, and what we think would be a great ending to the day.  But God answers with His sovereign purposes and in His perfect timing.

The biggest fish Bill ever caught took both of us by surprise.  On a long overnight hike in the wilderness, he cast his line into a creek, so inconsequential you could step across it without getting your feet wet.  He was just practicing his casting.  As I approached that slim ribbon of water, I saw him throw in his line and then pull it back immediately.  "Oh, it caught on a rock or tree branch," I surmised.  And on the end of his line were the glimmery watercolors of a brook trout, glistening in the waning sunlight like the grand prize.

Prayer is deeper than an answer, but letting His Presence wash over me.  "Getting" an answer fades in the reality of God Himself.  And in that, it is not catching what we consider the elusive perfect fish.  But it is catching a deeper vision, not just what is, but Who He is and what can be.

As we hiked back to the truck yesterday, through the glories of God's creation, we came across a young man wading on the edge of the water.  When we asked how he was doing, he said he had caught just two fish in the space of four hours, as if an apology.  But then, with a smile on his face, he raised his arm as if pulling back the winning curtain on a game show and said, "But oh, most of it is just being out here in this."

Make me to know Your ways, O LORD;
teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth, and teach me,
for You are the God of my salvation;
for You I wait all the day long.

                      Psalm 25.4

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