December 26, 2014

A fisherman for the Lord

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 26, 2013

I recently listened to my favorite preacher tell a story about two fishermen.
One on the other side of the pond was not catching any fish, but he watched the other fisherman catch and release one large fish after another. Finally, he had to know why the fisherman was throwing the big fish back and catching and cooking only the small ones.
“I don’t mean to be nosy, but why are you only frying the small fish?” he asked.
The man replied, “I only have a 10-inch frying pan.”
Do we limit our lives to “a 10-inch frying pan?”
Joel Osteen is often referred to as a “prosperity preacher,” but he speaks to my heart as an optimist inspired by the Lord.
God’s Word says that “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
Joel also used the example of the widow whose jug of oil was running low and her flour container was nearly empty. But when she followed the commands God sent through the prophet, she no longer had to worry that she and her son would face starvation.
After praying and thinking about my “10-inch pan,” I decided it was time for me to “get ready to fry the larger fish” that God keeps sending my way.
Just the prior week the Lord had provided me the opportunity to speak at a Christian women’s club meeting in Shelby.
One of my many new friends volunteered to go with me and we had a great time.
Evelyn No. 3, the third Evelyn of my life, had never been to the Billy Graham Library and I felt honored that I was able to take her there on the way home.
If you have never been, I encourage you to go. It is not far off of Interstate 85 and easy to find.
I was really impressed that the Shelby club has a new policy of inviting ladies from the homeless shelter. Someone picks them up and the club pays for their meals.
My day was complete when one of the homeless ladies followed the plan of salvation and accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior at the end of the prayer.
I continue to be amazed at the opportunities God provides for me to share the gospel through speaking and writing.
Right after this, I received invitations to speak at the Statesville and Hendersonville Christian Women’s Clubs in October. I was so excited about traveling to the mountains during the fall.
For several weeks, I had trouble again with the conversion factor on my van. I became a little concerned about the distance to Hendersonville with the lift and door not working correctly every time.
For the Statesville trip, I was able to get someone to help me get in and out of the vehicle. But I ended up canceling the trip to the mountains as the van was going to be in the shop for several days,
I was disappointed but realized that all of this could have led to God telling me I should not travel that far. I was the most stressed out I had been in a long time. My presentation in Statesville had been the worst I had ever given and that had been distressing.
I know that I can’t serve God in the same magnitude as Billy Graham, Dr. Stanley and other famous evangelists.
But like the disciples in the boat, if I follow His commands, He has and will continue to make me “another fisher of men.”
Maybe then He will also provide me a “larger frying pan.”

Linda Beck lives in Woodleaf.