April 16, 2023
no fishing

no fishing!

Micah 7:19  “You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. ” (NIV)

April kicks off the best season for fishing on the Chesapeake Bay, where Rockfish (striped bass) are a popular catch.  When my husband invites me along it’s always exciting to reel one in. 

Jesus had an exciting catch to share with His fishermen friends. He began His ministry in ‘the way of the sea’, in Galilee (Matthew 4:13-16) and told His new disciples He would make them ‘fishers of men.’ (Matthew 4:19) They were later commissioned to ‘go therefore and make disciples of all nations’ (Matthew 28:19) baptizing and teaching as Jesus had commanded. What a catch of believers that would be one day!

But there is a ‘no-fishing’ zone when it comes to our walk with the Lord. Micah 7:19 says that God’s steadfast love and compassion includes ‘casting all our sins into the depths of the sea.’ And as Corrie Ten Boom added, He’s put up a sign that reads, “No Fishing Allowed!”

No Fishing 2So, fish all you want, for those who need to hear about God’s great love for us through Jesus our Savior but stay away from that ‘no fishing’ zone of sins forgiven. Do not dredge them up to be re-hashed or fretted over. Receive the gracious gift of God’s forgiveness and don’t fish there anymore.  

Reflection:  What are you fishing for that you have already confessed, and the Lord has already ‘cast into the sea?’ Try a written ‘lament’ of your sins and pain by writing it all out, scribbling over top as you go so that the details are obscured.  Leave it all there or cover your writing with stickers or images of peace and joy.

Thank you, Lord, for your forgiveness. Help me to leave those sins behind, cast into the sea, and not go fishing for them or their associated guilt again. Amen.

Shawn Maassel, Huntingtown, MD

Shawn MaasselShawn began taking Body & Soul® classes as a student in 1990 after her first child was born. Years later, after a move and transition to full-time church work, she became a Body & Soul® instructor in order to bring the ministry and classes to her new church. She has been leading classes since 2003 in Huntingtown, Maryland and enjoys being part of Body & Soul’s® Spiritual Impact Team. Shawn and her husband have three grown children and two grandsons across the country.