11.06.12 Salmon, Faith, and Testimony...

I enjoy the gift of revelation in unlikely people, places and things. Last night it was in a movie - “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”. There is nothing in the title or story line that made me think - yes, I will deeply connect or be even mildly entertained by this, but I love being wrong.

At my core...in my heart of hearts...there is a need that wells up from time to time which says - someone, somewhere needs to know “this”. And I say that because I believe there are fundamental things which new believers should be told about following Christ - I mean come on - let’s go into this with our eyes wide open! Fundamental things...foundational things. When you choose to build your life on foundational truths, then you start with a floor that you simply can’t fall off of. A floor...that you can’t fall off of. Love it - and thank you Jeff for giving us the words for that truth!

The truth? Faith is possible...and there will be times when you don't realize it's something you already possess.

So the movie...a wealthy sheik has a genuine desire to bring salmon fishing to the Yemen. He states that his love for the sport became real when he realized “fishermen don’t care if I’m brown or white, rich or poor, wearing robes or waders - all they care about are the fish, the river, and the game we play. For fishermen the virtues are patience, tolerance and humility.” Don’t even get me started on the revelation in those two sentences... 

The scene I want to focus on came at a critical point, when at the dinner table the sheik, the sheik's financial advisor, and the “fishing expert” are talking about the project. The expert, from the beginning, has doubted even the possibility that the project was logical, much less possible. He states that it’s more of a  “feasibility study” rather than a “working plan”. Don’t even get me started on the revelation of the main characters and purpose of the project... 

Advisor But you said it was theoretically possible.

Expert Theoretically.

Sheik Indeed, it would be a miracle of God if it were to happen.

Expert I’m more of a facts and figures man myself.

Sheik You’re not a religious man?

Expert No, no I’m not.

Sheik But...you’re a fisherman Dr. Jones...

Expert I’m sorry, I don’t follow.

Sheik How many hours do you fish before you catch something? Dozens?

Expert Gosh, hundreds sometimes.

Sheik Is that a good use of your time...for a facts and figures man? But you persist. In the wind, in the rain, and the cold - with such poor odds of success. Why? Because you are a man of faith. In the end you are rewarded for your faith and consistency...with a fish.

Don’t even get me started... There is a pause, and the sheik say’s that respectfully they must agree to disagree on his apparent lack of faith, or that the sport of fishing even requires faith. Allow me to connect the dots...

Faith, when it’s looked at as a big picture concept {like establishing salmon fishing in a desert place}, is indeed overwhelming in every facet for someone who, from the very start of it, does not believe that it’s even possible to possess something that is not tangible. On this point we must agree to disagree. 

Faith is a huge concept, yes. But God doesn’t call us to be overwhelmed and disheartened, and to just accept all things. 

He calls us FIRST to have, to cast - faith, the size of a mustard seed. 

He calls us to have a measure of faith to take one step. His faithful character is such that when we do, He will start a work in us that He promises to finish. That’s what I love about God - He makes faith possible

When I profess with my mouth the doubts in my head and heart...God, I don’t know if I have even that measure of faith; I don’t think I have the heart or the strength to take even one step; God, you won’t understand; God, you can’t forgive me for this; God I’m just a lost cause.... 

And I put up those self-imposed roadblocks...I can’t understand the Bible; I don’t have the time; Why would He ever care about someone like me...   

Don’t wait for me to call it out - you know what your doubts are. Your list is lengthy and solid I’m sure...I know mine was. But aren’t you done yet? Living this life like you’ve been run over by a Mac truck...in this constant state of exhaustion and hopelessness? I was there once. 

In the span of four years we built a house, changed jobs, moved to a new state...and subsequently, my marriage then fell apart, I assumed my own mortgage, changed industries/jobs again, my vibrant, life-loving father passed away from a life sucking disease, and my financial status took a nose dive. I was living in what could only be described as a state of "naked and raw”. I felt as though I was lying in the pit of “no chance for hope” and remember saying “this is just my lot in life - the way the rest of my life is going to go...I somehow made this life bed and now I must lie in it” and I accepted it as truth...for a while. 

Then one day it was like God said “No more. She has been sifted long enough and you, Satan, no longer have authority. She is mine and I declare no more. I call her Daughter. I call her beloved...and she has answered with the faith of a mustard seed.” And He showed up. And prayers were answered. I don’t know that I could, in less than 100 pages, state those two facts any more precisely or truthfully, or with any greater measure of confidence. He simply showed himself as faithful in the midst of “even those” circumstances. 

I didn’t tell you those things to hinder or discourage you. I told you those things to speak out my testimony...because it’s time to give a real life example of how God took this concept of faith and turned it into something possible...and it was a lot less painful than I had imagined...and it became life changing...and hope-giving.  

Take your list of roadblocks to Him and have the measure of faith the size of a mustard seed. He is faithful...the Creator of the universe who holds all things in His hands, and has YOUR life before Him at all times, and never grows faint or weary...give that list to Him, and share that list with someone for the sake of prayer - I volunteer!! I volunteer!! Give me that opportunity and privilege to serve God through a life of intercessory prayer. 

I have lived in that pit of unbelief where that first thought was “I don’t even know where to start believing in you God"...and He was faithful.

Until next time Beloved... 

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