“Throw that one back.”
Memories of fishing with my dad lingered in my mind. A girly pre-teen, I refused to bait the hook with worms.
There’s something I quickly learned about fishing—not all fish were keepers. Maybe it’s the sport of fishing to brag you caught a fish and then threw it back. Perhaps a desire to tell a big fish story. The thrill of using your hands to describe that you caught a humdinger. And sometimes the fish caught isn’t the one you want. You keep some; you throw some back.
After my early fishing adventures, I learned there’s keeper-lessons in life. A boyfriend decided another girl made a better catch. Friends didn’t view me as a keeper and went fishing.
I continued to wear the I-must-not-be-a-keeper badge in adulthood. Deceptive inside chatter tried to convince me. You’re in the company lay-off because others performed at a higher level. She stopped reaching out because you’re not her first choice for a friend. See, no one wants to keep you.
Each time someone threw me back in life’s pond, my heart made a note. You’re not a keeper. The enemy hopes we’ll buy the world’s slick-selling guise: “Keep the deserving, throw the others back.”
Unwanted pets become abandoned pets. Children in an orphanage or foster care wait and long for adoptive parents to choose them . . . love them . . . and keep them.
We compare ourselves to the people culture deems as keepers. The mom every kid wants. The picture-perfect wife. A friend who’s best-friend-forever material. All good catches.
But—and this is a monumental but—the Lord consistently reminds me, “Karen, you’re a keeper.” The world shows no mercy to the undeserving. But God’s kind mercy washed my sin-stained soul and chose to hang onto me.
Out of God’s great compassion and loving mercy we’re kept. His unfathomable mercy assures, “I’ve caught a humdinger. You’re the one I searched for and wanted. My prize. You’re my catch of the day. You could never do anything to be thrown back.”
The merciful Lord Jesus will never, ever let you go.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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