by Pastor Mark Fisher
February 7, 2017
Startling! Never in my life had I felt such a massive fish on my line. It hit my bait with a vengeance. I was even struggling to bring this record fish near the ice hole. Pulling and ripping, the fight was on!
It was one of those beautiful Minnesota winter days; cold and clear, and its great fishing lakes were calling. The snowfall was minimal, allowing anglers to drive their cars out onto the ice.
My good buddy Harlan and I had decided to heed that call. We grabbed our gear and headed out to catch the barracuda of the north, the ravenous Northern Pike. The local Finns call it the Hauki (How’kee). So here we were, parked on the lake, sitting inside the warm car drinking coffee and shooting the breeze, while keeping our eyes on the tip-ups (the ice fishing rig, which when hit upon, pops up a flag).
First, Harlan’s tip-up popped, with mine moments later. We both moved with skill and agility. We knew those haukis were ours. The battle was on! Harlan roared, “This is the biggest fish I ever hooked!” I bellowed the same. The snag for us was THE BIG FISH WERE WINNING! Unbelievable! In a bit I realized something and looked at Harlan. Every time my line came up, his went down. We were see-sawing! Ha! We had hooked the same fish and were pulling against each other. I could only imagine the fish’s jaw. I willingly let go, for Harlan had hooked it first.
Clearly, letting go for others is Jesus’ way. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich,” 2 Corinthians 8:9. He let go of all for us, in order to purchase our salvation!
We ended up having a huge laugh and a story to tell. Letting go was a blessing, for Harlan meant far more to me than a fish. In years to come, life would not be easy for my friend; cancer would have its way with him more than once. Pulling, or letting go? I’m glad I let go!