This time last week, I was privileged to join my other Campus Life Southern States Regional Team members on a nice boat ride in Florida. Although we spent most of our time doing our Youth for Christ/Campus Life work, we were blessed with two hours to fish. I hadn’t gone fishing since I was a little boy. Even then, it wasn’t on a boat. We fished along the shorelines of a lake. Last Friday was my first time fishing off shore. It didn’t take too long and I had hooked a Cobia.
I felt the tug on my line, but I must admit that I thought like everyone else on the boat. I thought my line had gotten caught up on the boat or something. Shortly after feeling the tug, the fish came to the surface and everyone was shocked. The rookie caught a fish. Initially, I was tiring myself out as I attempted to reel him in while he attempted to break free. Simultaneously, the captain of the boat and one of my regional team members quickly schooled me. “Let him tire himself out. He’ll eventually slow up” they exclaimed. I was grateful that I wasn’t expected to immediately reel him in because, even though I didn’t want to admit it, he started getting the best of me. I took their advice and held my own as the Cobia continued to fight. After a while, he realized that he couldn’t break free from the hook. He got tired and basically gave in. I reeled him in more as the captain put on his gloves, stood on the edge of the boat, grabbed the line, and helped me bring him in. Unfortunately, due to his size, I had to put him back in the water…not without taking a pic first.
Yesterday, I received a call from one of my former students. She had become a Christian through Campus Life, but since graduating a couple of years ago, she kind of strayed away. She moved out of town and we lost contact. Yesterday, we talked and she began to tell me how tired she was. She said, “I’ve been fighting to do things my way. It hasn’t worked. I’m just tired and I don’t know what to do.” I replied, “Give up! Don’t give up on life. Give up on fighting God.” That’s when it hit me.
I began telling her the fishing story. I said, “You’re the Cobia. God has you hooked. No matter how much you try to fight, He won’t let you go. He’s determined to reel you in. He has simply allowed you to fight until you’ve gotten tired. Now surrender and let Him have you.” This may sound weird, but I could hear her smile over the phone as she thanked me and said, “That’s exactly what I needed to hear.” It’s those same points that I want to share with you today.
God loves you with an everlasting love. You can’t get away. He won’t let you go.
Are You Tired Yet?
In many ways, He’s simply allowing you to beat yourself. God is patient and longsuffering. He will wait for you to get tired of fighting.
You’re fighting the one who can assure your favorable outcome. In the instance with the fish, we unhooked him, took a picture, and then I dropped him back in the water. He fought me all that time not knowing that I couldn’t keep him. I had to put him back. So, his fighting only prolonged his freedom. As it relates to God, He is not going to unhook you or place you back where you were. Trust me! You don’t want Him to. The safest place you can be is in His hands. Surrender!
Romel Gibson is a youth and college pastor, mentor, community leader, motivational speaker, musician, and songwriter living in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He serves as a full- time Campus Life Director with Youth for Christ, one of the largest non-profit youth evangelism ministries in the world. As a songwriter, his most notable works include L. Spenser Smith and Testament (Greater, Surgery), Tonya Baker (Miracles), The Anointed Pace Sisters (Praise and Worship), Myron Butler (Changed), Marvin Sapp (Never), Ruben Studdard (Holding On To You Lord), and Johnny Gill (Black Box).Romel has been married for 11 years to his college best friend Quanedra. Together they have been blessed with three beautiful daughters; Allayna Pilar, Moriah Kelis, and Rylee Addison.
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