The Struggle . . . The Victory . . . The Prize!


My two favorite guys had the opportunity to go deep-sea fishing last weekend. Up at 3:00 a.m., they headed out to Va. Beach to “catch some big ones.” And, catch they did. Tuna and Dolphin (Mahi-Mahi). Grant reeled them in, Rob by his side, and together, they had one great day.

Once again, it is never too late. . . never to late to have a happy family. Seeing the two of them, tired, but completely satisfied with their day’s work, reminded me of the great work God has done in our lives. Rob, whose father was an alcoholic, gave his life to Christ in his early twenties – allowing God to transform his heart. Now, after many years of following hard after God, he is enjoying rich relationships with his three children. The past year or so hasn’t been an easy one for Rob and Grant. The teenage years are very often turbulent and tiring. As Grant has sought after his independance and identity, he has often, without even knowing it, held his Dad at arms length. Just as there is tension on the line reeling in the big fish, there has been tension in the day-to-day lines of communication between father and son. I have stood on the sidelines, praying fervently and encouraging wholeheartedly, each one, as their relationship grows and matures. It hasn’t been fun. But, it is a necessary, normal part of God’s plan. Rob has had to learn when to give on the line, when and how to reel in his words, and how to wait patiently while the struggle accomplished its God-designed purpose.

I found an interesting article on “how to choose the right deep sea fishing rod,” that has amazing application:

1. Look for sea rods designed for use on the open ocean, rather than other types of rods. They are longer and heftier than other types of rods, built to withstand the stress of the huge fish found in the deep sea.

2. Think about the kinds of fish you intend to catch. Specialized rods are made for marlins, sharks and other types of big game fish, and these may serve you better than a more general type of sea rod.

3. Examine the construction of the rod. You want something that can withstand the pressure of a heavy fish fighting for its life. Big game fish can weigh hundreds of pounds, and a rod constructed of inferior materials will wear down under pressure. Any rod you pick for deep sea fishing must be made of materials that won’t corrode in the salt air. Graphite or fiberglass models can withstand the stress of the environment.

The third suggestion really says it all:

Examine the construction of the rod. You want something that will withstand the pressure of a heavy fish fighting for its life. A rod constructed of inferior materials will wear down under pressure. Will corrode in the salt air.

So many times, Grant (yes, I’m likening him to a heavy fish!) has resisted the rod. Fought the rod. But, Rob, in God’s grace, stood strong. He remained 100% connected to his heavenly Father, believing unswervingly in the power of his father’s words. A lover of Proverbs, Rob took Proverbs 13:24 to heart:

“He who spares the rod hates his son,
       but he who loves him is careful to discipline him” (NIV).

 “A refusal to correct is a refusal to love;
   love your children by disciplining them” (MSG).

Tomorrow is Father’s Day. May God help us all to remember His words, written for our benefit. I know I’ll be writing more about this . . . because we all struggle in our relationships. BUT, I pray that in the midst of the struggle, we will persevere. We will pray. We will believe. We will remember that it is never too late. . .the prize is so glorious. Better than you can even imagine. You, too, can and will have the rich relationships your heart desires. Have a blessed Sabbath and Father’s Day!

P.S. I’d love to hear your stories. . . has God restored a strained relationship? Let’s encourage one another and build one another up (Jude 20).


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