Psalm 116: 6
The Lord preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.
An April Sunday after church I waited till late afternoon for my birthday wish--to fish along the edge of our campground. High water conditions hadn’t allowed me to wade in months. Although I was out of practice, everything went smoothly until I stepped into the water.
The landscape had drastically changed after the December floods had deepened the holes beyond the boat ramp. Where I had previously waded through gravel beds to a shallow place, I now encountered sticky sand and drop-offs. I backed up and began to cast, forgetting about the tree limbs over my head, After 2 casts I snagged one. Climbing up a muddy bank to reach the tree. I was lucky enough to bend the branch down and retrieve my fly.
Thinking I was good to go, I stepped back into the water. Failing to check that my fly was secured to the rod, I soon discovered it lodged on the back side of my boot. This fly was a new creation given me to try. I intended to accomplish that mission. However, the hook was so deeply embedded that when I attempted to pull it out with my forceps, it broke off.
On my way to full-fledged exasperation, I tied on another one of the same type and within a few moments managed to snag a different tree behind me. This time it was too high to reach and I snapped the second fly along with the tippet.
About this time my husband rode up on the four wheeler to innocently ask how I was doing. I went into full-blown whine and recounted my poor techniques. He offered to tie on more tippet and I gratefully accepted.
Finally after thanking him and breathing deep, I set off to try again. He wisely left and I found a new path through the water near a giant tree root left gnarled by the flooding. With one cast my 3rd fly of the set managed to discreetly land in the water unencumbered by any more obstacles. Lo and behold, I felt a strong take and a few seconds later captured a small female brown. Even though she garnered no prizes, she fought with a courageous heart and I thankfully accepted my birthday gift.
I wondered briefly how Job endured all the tests God put before him. Surely my difficulties this day couldn’t compare with his tribulations and yet he managed to keep his faith. My hope was to measure up in tiny increments and the challenge was to meet the travail with gratitude.
No other fish graced my net that day; but neither did I bury my boots in sucking sand or embarrass myself further. Memories of my rookie days beckoned but I resisted.
Maybe this birthday was special after all. I’d learned some patience, caught a fish and arrived back at my starting point without tumbling into the water.
Light the candles and bring on the cake. I’m done!