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Ezekiel 47:3-12 – As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. 4 He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. 5 He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross. 6 He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?”

fish6Then he led me back to the bank of the river. 7 When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. 8 He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh. 9 Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. 10 Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds—like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea.11 But the swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt. 12 Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”

I was such a prissy little girl. I only wore dresses and frilly little socks with patent leather shoes. When I finally got past my fear of the big farm house in the middle of nowhere that the dinosaurs must have built, I decided to go spend the weekend with the man who hung the moon, my Papaw, the apple of my eye. He and Mamaw were so old fashioned that they slept in different rooms. I couldn’t have been more than 8 years old. We all retired to bed early after watching golf on a blaring TV because Papaw couldn’t hear and refused to get hearing aids.

fish5We all went to our own corners of the big house, Papaw in his room in the back, Mamaw and I cuddled in the front bedroom where my mom used to sleep. Round about 4:30am, I felt someone nudging me. “Julie Anne, where are your play clothes?!? JULIE ANNE!! Wake up and tell me where your play clothes are!”

Papaw had gone through my little red suitcase that said, “Going to Grandmas” and found my only play clothes: dresses, frilly socks, and patent leather shoes. When I told him that as I wiped the sleep from my eyes, his exasperated sigh said it all. The next thing I knew, he had handed me a cup of his special “kid coffee” (milk, sugar, and a splash of coffee for flavor), and bundled me up in his old pickup truck and we were off to Kmart, lumbering down the long driveway before the sun. He purchased for me with his meager wages a pair of blue jeans, a t-shirt, and some tennis shoes and we were off. Once I was donned in proper “Papaw attire” that was more than uncomfortable, we went fishing.

fish2The beauty that surrounded me at Cypress Lake took my breath away. I could hear the birds singing their morning song in the cypress trees that grew right out of the lake, the squirrels chased each other from tree to tree, and the fish were hopping in the warm water sustained by the rising sun. My Papaw put creepy, crawly critters on the end of my line and taught me how to cast. And we caught fish!! His proud smile warmed my heart each time I looked into his shining blue eyes for approval. On more than one occasion, I caught my line in a tree. “We aren’t fishing for squirrels, Julie Anne!” we the patient words from a loving man as he cut my line time and again.

The rest of that sunny day, we golfed from his homemade fairway and hole (I hit a hole in one in the field behind the house), we bowled, and we drank Shirley Temples on the porch swing. Me and Papaw! Two peas in a pod!

The scripture above reminded me of that time. The River of Living Water symbolizes life from Him and the blessings that flow from His throne. God’s power can transform anyone no matter how lifeless we are. So many souls float along that river, just waiting to be caught and brought into the boat. What about you? Are you bearing fruit from the life sustaining source, and are you pulling people in by your actions? Or are you still making excuses as to why you can’t cross the swollen river in faith?

fish1Jesus is so patient with me too. He wants to walk in fields with me, sit on a quiet lake, and look at me with proud, loving eyes. He cuts my fishing line and lets things loose that don’t belong, branches caught that symbolize wrong people that can’t hold the weight of responsibility. He calls me to fish in His lake brimming with souls ready to be pulled into His boat. My Papaw would be so proud! Today, I am a fisher of men!!!

You can read Ezekiel 44-48 about Ezekiel’s call to prophecy and the vision of sin and judgment at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Ezekiel

To further your reading, consider this from:

Mark 1:16-17 – As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me”, Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”

fish7NEVER stop following Jesus, and you too will fish for men and without even trying, you WILL catch them! What is on the end of your lure, your line? Are you fishing with the right bait? Are you actions proving your faithfulness? The gospel is the net lifting people from the dark waters of sin and shame. Don’t let them drown! Cast your line and into waters that have never been fished before and watch God move!

Related Scriptures: Matthew 13:47; Habakkuk 1:14; Matthew 4:19