Fishing for Forgiveness and Family

I found some funny sayings about fishermen this week:

  • Good Things Come to Those Who Bait
  • It’s Fish O’Clock Somewhere
  • Fisherman: A Jerk on One End of a Line Waiting for a Jerk on the Other End of the Line

With no dad in my life, my first fishing trip occurred through a deacon/neighbor named Pat Locker. He untangled the line, freed up hooks and endured endless chatter from a seven-year-old. I drank my first cup of coffee (5 spoons of sugar and it still tasted terrible). We were rained on, cold and hungry, but it is one of my best childhood memories. I felt accepted and included.

I’ve since realized there are many who are fishing for forgiveness. They are hooked on something in their past. Unwilling to believe Christ will give them a fresh start. There is more grace in Christ than sin in us.

Gigi Tchividjian tells a story. I’ve adapted it to fit here.

A priest in a small parish had committed what he felt was a terrible sin when he was a young man. Although he had asked God to forgive him, he still carried the guilt and burden of his sin. He couldn’t believe God would forgive him.

An elderly woman in his congregation spoke often of visions and conversations with our Lord. He was skeptical of her claims of hearing God’s voice. So he decided to test her.

Over a cup of tea, he asked, “Do you really have visions from God?” Humbly she replied, “Yes.”

“Well then… the next time you speak with Him, ask him what sin your priest committed as a young man?” The woman gladly agreed.

Several weeks passed before he saw her again. He asked, “Did you ask the Lord what sin I committed as a young man?” The woman replied, “I did.”

“What did the Lord say?”

She looked into the face of her priest and gently replied, “The Lord told me He could not remember.”

God not only forgives our sin He also forgets them. The Bible says He casts them into the depths of the sea (Malachi 7:19). Corrie Ten Boom used to say, “to throw your sin in the middle of the sea and then put up a sign saying ’NO FISHING.”

The deepest point in the ocean is the Mariana Trench in the Pacific. It is over 36,000 feet deep. That’s almost 7 miles. Mount Everest is the highest point on earth. It is 29,000 feet high. The deepest point of the ocean goes further into the heart of the earth than any mountain reaches into the sky. That should give you some idea of how far God casts our sins from us when he forgives us.

Enjoy God’s forgiveness and I’ll see you Sunday,

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