The crisp morning air surrounded me as I breathed in the smells of the river and willows and grasses along its banks. It was the second day of the Bi-Fly Fishing tournament and I was standing in the middle of the river with my rod in one hand and the line in the other, gently swaying it back and forth for the cast. I casted towards the swifter water in front of me and watched my strike indicator drift down the river hoping my fly would entice the fish into eating it. Our guide Mark, a fish biologist and an experienced fly fisherman, had taken my teammate Randall and I to a spot on the San Juan River called the Kitty Hole. The Kitty Hole is a wide expanse of the river that is known to hold a great deal of fish.
As the morning went on, our guide would come to our side and show us some tricks of the trade. Randall and I are still novices when it comes to fly fishing and we greatly appreciated any advice we received from this experienced fly fisherman. We had pretty good success in the morning, each of us catching quite a few fish. But as the day progressed the fish seemed to have lost interest in what we were offering them as food.
For me, it had been at least an hour with no nibble, no bite, no nothing. I started questioning our guide and why he was keeping us in the same place since obviously there was no fish activity for either one of us for a long time. I wanted to move somewhere else where the fish were biting. The same moment those thoughts were flying through my mind, another thought occurred to me…well, our guide knows so much more than I do about this river and the fish in it, so he must know what he is doing and I need to trust him. So, even though I still was not having any success in catching any fish, I started just enjoying being out on this beautiful river. I felt very privileged to just be there in God’s creation with the sights of the rising bluffs in the background and sounds of the rushing river around me.
Just about 10 minutes before the end of the tournament, Mark joined me on the side of the river I had been fishing and started telling me where to throw the line in and drift it. Then there was a moment when he saw something in the river change and said enthusiastically, “Throw it now!” I did as he said and just as it started to drift down he said excitedly, “Lift your rod up you got em!” I ended up reeling in the biggest, most brightly colored trout I had ever caught! I was so thrilled at catching this amazing 19” trout and was so glad that I trusted my guide.
The more I thought over this experience, the verse in Proverbs 3:5-6 just resonated, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” On the river, I had to trust my guide even though I thought that I knew better. Little did I know what an amazing fish I would catch because I decided to trust my guide and not lean on my own understanding.
In Isaiah 55:8-9 it reiterates our need to trust God by saying “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than yours, and My thoughts than your thoughts.’” When we are faced with hard situations, times of uncertainty or even prayers that seem to go unanswered and we question “God do you know what’s going on? Do you care? Are you in control?” The answer to all of these questions is a big resounding “YES!” from our Heavenly Father. We can’t lean on our own understanding when these times come, which leads to doubting our great and mighty God and His sovereignty. His knowledge and understanding is so beyond us. We need to stand in faith on what the Word of God says and truly believe it, even when we don’t feel like it. We need to “Trust in the Lord and do good, dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness.” (Psalm 37:3) and “Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him and He shall bring it to pass.” (Psalm 37:5).
There are countless times in our lives, at the ministry and things that happen in our children’s lives here that we may throw up our hands and say to God, “I don’t understand.” Don’t worry, we may never understand, BUT we can trust our good and faithful God who does understand and sees beyond what we can see and is in control. Two wonderful Psalms that I like to reflect on when I do not understand and to keep my eyes on Jesus is Psalm 27 and Psalm 37. Keep looking unto Jesus, He is all we need!
Seeking Him with you,