Recently I had an opportunity to return home and visit with my family. While there I was blessed to once again spend time doing one of my favorite activities, visiting the neighborhood pond with my father and fishing together. While our pond is quite small and at this particular visit was very full of debris in our favorite fishing hole, I have grown to simply enjoy more and more these times with my Father. At first, we were using different techniques; I used a crank bait and my father a plastic minnow bait. After several casts without any action, my father reeled in a good sized bass. Then after moving to a different hole to release his catch, we decided to change locations. My father encouraged me to make the next catch and I rigged up a pole for a plastic much the same as his. He helped remind me how to attach the bait and fish this technique. Then we continued our endeavor. As I now fished I watched how my father gently raised his pole up and down with slow cranks to give the bait simulated action, and then I began to follow his example. After a few more casts, I got a great big hit, set the hook and after a great leap out of the water reeled in one of the largest bass we have ever caught at the pond.
As we continued to fish, I remember these words from scripture coming to mind: “I say to you, a son cannot do anything on his own, but only what he sees his father doing.” I began to realize that my father and I were living out the scripture together in that moment, as my catching fish was a result of watching my father. As I think of this scene from scripture, I am reminded of Jesus, the Son of God speaking about the Father; “For the Father loves his Son and shows him everything that he himself does, and he will show him greater works than these.”
I too am a son of God, and so God the Father will show me His great works, but how am I to see what my Father is doing? Thank-God for the revelation of His Word, Jesus, the Word made flesh, the Son of God who shows us the example of how to listen to the Father and seek His will. As Jesus a few verses later says, “I cannot do anything on my own...I do not seek my own will but the will of the one who sent me.” Jesus was obedient to the Father’s will, made known by a constant attentiveness to the love of the Father.
I greatly desire this attentiveness to the Father, to see what He is doing, and to seek His gracious will. Sometimes though I feel it impossible to see what the Father is doing in the same way as I see my dad fishing, for I recall these words, “Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God”, and find myself asking Jesus much like Philip, “Show us the Father.” Jesus then reminds me “If you know me, then you will also know my Father” and “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.”
Thank God for the Gospels! Here is a reliable place where I can always find Jesus and watch as he does what He sees the Father in heaven doing! And as I come to know my Lord and Savior more in prayer, as I know Jesus, I will also know His Father, our Father! And I can ask for the grace of Jesus’s attentiveness, so that as a beloved adopted son, I too can see what my Heavenly Father is doing just as I watched my father fishing.
May my father and I always remain in the love of Christ,