Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give
yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is
not in vain (1.Cor.15:58).
I like to fish. I am not that great of a fisherman,
nevertheless, I enjoy kicking back on a lake shore or riverbank and drowning a few worms.
I come from a family who enjoys fishing, I married a woman who's dad is quite a fisherman,
and I have a son who seems to out fish me all too often--as he would be sure to tell you.
When I fish, I would rather use a bobber and live bait than to use a lure. With a bobber I
can just toss it out there and let it sit. And then I can sit back and relax and patiently
wait for a bite. But even that is not all I would hope it would be. If there is a slight
wind or current, my bobber is bound and determined not to stay where I put it. Even if I
cast out past the place I want it to be and reel it in to just the perfect place, it isn't
long before It moves so close to shore so that my bait comes to rest on the bottom--often
hugging a bed of underwater weeds or rocks or some such thing.
I reel it in. I cast it out. Over and over, I have to recast to put it where I want it to
be, because time after time, it drifts away from where it needs to stay.
Some days it seems my Christian walk has been taking lessons from the drifting bobber. No
matter how diligently and frequently I try to keep things where they are in the right
place, it seems that the influences of life keep causing me to drift. I manage to stay in
the water, but I start to feel like I'm dragging the bottom. At those times I realize
where I need to be, but it becomes a constant struggle to remain there.
Though the place to remain is in Christ with our focus on Him, we may often find that we
are like the slow drifting bobber. We find our focus and launch out to be strong and keep
things where they need to be, only to wake up the next day on the other side of the bed,
or perhaps to a whole new set of problems. And as life pulls our eyes away from our Lord,
we begin to drift. And we might possibly continue to drift until we get to a place that we
suddenly notice that we are not where we should be.
I have seen bobbers that seem to ride the rippled waves and remain where they were cast.
This is because there is something holding the bobber and line that is stronger than the
breeze and ripples that beat against them.
Paul reminds us in 1 Cor. 15:58 to stand firm and to let nothing move us. How do we do
this? Paul adds, "always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord." A heart
that remains diligent in serving God will find that the cares of this life become less and
less important, and they become less of a distracter.
It takes a lot of strength to remain where we need to be, and to remain focused on Christ
above the circumstances. But even as it is God's will for us to remain in Him, He will
provide us the means to do so. So be encouraged--stand firm, diligently serve God and lift
your eyes off of your circumstances. Determine in your heart to say, "Even if it
means losing everything, I will serve the Lord." Therein lies the strength to remain
in Him and to stand firm.