Do you fish to fit your pan?

The regular readers of this column know by now that my husband, Ted, and I love to fish here on the Southeast Texas Gulf Coast. I don’t care if we are in the open Gulf of Mexico, on the beautiful Intracoastal Canal, Galveston Bay, Rollover Pass, or along a secluded little inlet. I love it all. There’s nothing more relaxing or healing to me than being on the water.

And we’ve caught some wonderful fish for our effort — along with some other wild stuff, too. I am accumulating some great fish stories and will share them readily.The one thing that amazes me about fishing is that you never know what is going to be on the end of that line when you pull it up and the catch breaks the surface. I have been amazed at the different kinds of fish and other things one can “land.” Often, I have to ask Ted what I have to show for my effort. I’ve caught various fish, including some big sharks, stingray, saltwater eels, and many other things as well. Forrest Gump would say fishing is kind of like life — You never know what you’ve got until you get it.

When my cousin in Amarillo sent me this little story, I knew right away that I had to share it with our readers and my Sunday school class at my church. It seems that two men went fishing. One man was an experienced fisherman, while the other wasn’t.

Every time the experienced fisherman caught a big fish, he put it in his ice chest to keep it fresh to take home to enjoy with his family. Whenever the inexperienced fisherman caught a big fish, he threw it back. The experienced fisherman watched this go on all day and finally got tired of seeing this man waste good fish.

“Why do you keep throwing back all the big fish you catch?” he impatiently asked his fishing partner. The inexperienced fisherman replied, “I only have a small frying pan.” 

Sometimes, we, like that fisherman, find ourselves throwing back the big plans, big dreams, big jobs and the big opportunities that God gives us. Our faith is simply too small. We’ve never learned to enlarge our faith, our expectations, and our anticipations and goals.

We laugh at that fisherman who didn’t figure out that all he needed was a bigger frying pan, and yet, how ready are we to increase the size of our faith?
 Whether it’s a problem or a possibility, God will never give you anything bigger than you can handle. That means we can confidently walk into anything God brings our way.
We can do all things through Christ, according to Philippians 4:13. Nothing is too big for God. Let’s stop telling God we’ve got big problems. Instead, let’s try remembering we’ve got a big God.

How sad it will be to live our lives as if all we had in hand is a small frying pan. There are plenty of much larger ones out there, and God wants you to have one. Pray the prayer of Jabez found clearly in 1 Chronicles, Chapter 4.

“And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou would bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou would keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me. And God granted him that which he had requested.” What have we truly asked of God from catching big fish to living lives filled with hope, happiness and blessing?

Brenda Cannon Henley is an award-winning journalist and writer living on the Southeast Texas Gulf Coast. Having enjoyed more than four decades in ministry, Brenda shares her columns with our readers and works with churches and faith-based programs nationwide. She can be reached at (409) 781-8788 or at brendacannonhenley [at] yahoo [dot] com.