By Darlene Hight
I grew up in a family that loved to fish. That is everybody except for me. I enjoyed going to the lake but I did not fish. I could not understand why anyone would prefer sitting on the bank watching a line dangle in the water instead of exploring the woods surrounding the lake. However, one other thing confused me more than the line dangling. I didnít understand our choice of fishing holes.
The place that my family liked to go was an old quarry. It was a beautiful lake but not the only beautiful lake in the area. Each time that we went, my mom would repeat the same stern warning, "Donít go too near the edge of the water this isnít like an ordinary lake. It is very deep. It doesnít have gradual decline. It just drops straight down."
As a child those words struck fear into my heart. Why would we fish at such a potentially dangerous place? The simple answer is that it was a great fishing hole. Maybe if I had enjoyed fishing, I would have found the payoff worth the risk.
People are often held captive by their fears. As we survey the circumstances in our life, itís as if the only possible outcome would be to sink into the bottomless waters of disaster. Many times in my life, I have found myself standing at the edge of a quarry (symbolically speaking). These times, generally, were not by my choice. I have stood on the edge of the quarry of financial disaster, parental crisis, marital ruin and health emergencies. Sometimes, the weight of these situations threatened to pull me over the side into the bottomless waters Ö and yet an unseen force held me.
Psalm 34:4Ė7, "I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all of my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. (NIV)
I enjoy vivid memories of my fishing days and hiking the woods surrounding the quarry. I loved everything about being there, watching the birds and squirrels up in the trees, tossing rocks into the water and just sitting on the banks absorbing the banquet of sights, sounds and smells. The only thing that clouds my memory is the fear of the quarry. Yet those fears were never realized.
During the times in life when disaster seems most imminent, we have a choice. We can look fearfully into the deep waters of the quarry or we can fix or gaze on God. "Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame." It is a simple choice, yet each has a radically different outcome. Choose wisely my friend. Choose faith over fear.
Darlene Hight is a writer who lives in Southern Ohio. Her husband, Mark has passed the love of fishing onto their three children and eight grandchildren while Darlene hiked the woods surrounding the lake.
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