Our biggest sale! 50% off your PLUS subscription. Use code SUMMER

Reeling in and Casting Out

Originally published Friday, 27 September 2013.

You'd think I'd have learned this by now.

That there is an ebb and flow to life. That there is a reaping and there is a harvesting. There is a time of day where the tide gangs up on the beach and then a few hours later, it tumbles back into the swarming ocean.

Sometimes it seems like we are the bait at the end of God's fishing line. He casts us into the dark, stormy waters.

And then he tugs us slowly, slowly back into him. The gentle click, click, clicks! of the turning reel on the rod twist inward and keep in time with the rhythm of the waves crashing on shore.

God tells us that there is a season for everything. And it's true. I just I didn't think that we could experience both lessons of suffocating despair of injustice and wrongdoing and liberation of knowing we're walking in His plan within hours of each other.

I didn't know that you could feel both separated from God and His will, and yet so close to it all within the same day.

But, it happened to me today.

This is how God works, isn't it? When you think about the Biblical character of Joseph in the Old Testament, days like these make perfect sense:

Joseph was the favored son of the father of Israel. Reeled in.

He was proclaimed dead by his brothers, and mischeiviously sold into slavery. Cast out.

He became commander of Potiphar's house. Reeled in.

He was charged with a crime he didn't commit. Cast out.

He discerns dreams for Pharaoh and becomes second in command. Reeled in.

I don't fancy myself an Old Testament character, by any means. And there's not really much I can say about the difficulty of today other than the fact that in the midst of a few hours, I was somehow both cast out and reeled in.

Cast out from feeling as though the work that I do matters. Kept in the dark about big, important changes in a place that I've learned to call home.

Reeled in by a new friend who encouraged me to keep writing and keep looking for security in God, rather than affirmations from my employer.

How great is our God that He has the profound ability to teach us both of these lessons in one waking period?

Didn't Christ say as much about this in scripture? That he would make us fishers of men if we followed Him?

Does it follow, then, that God would make fishers of us in the literal sense? That following Him would mean that our lives would follow a rhythm of being cast out and reeled in?

That he would, yes, cast us out to physical/emotional places that are far away and challenging? Perhaps, even heartbreaking? That he would put us in situations that would leave us crying off all our make up during our private moments in our cubicles?

But that he would also reel us back into Him. To His purpose. To a sweet place of heeling where the gentle pull of the line we feel–the rod that's burning with tension–is actually bringing us closer to Him?

You'd think I'd have learned this by now:

That there is no fear in being cast out. That there is a pattern to this messy, heartbreaking, unfair life. That when we are thrown into the sea, we are always reeled back in. That we, and our lives, are fishers of men.

Talk to me sisters, have you ever felt cast out or reeled in by God? Have you noticed this pattern in your lives? Leave me a comment below!

photo credit: Stitch via photopin cc