Reflection on the book “Fishers of Men”
by Ina Gasgonia
All great things start with one beautiful word: YES. I can still vividly remember in my mind the day I said yes to God to be His missionary for CFC YFL almost eight years ago. My heart pounding, my hands shakings, my feet trembling – I was simply in awe of what the Lord wanted for my life, but despite the seeming disbelief, I knew, then and until today, that I made the right decision to follow God and to leave everything behind for Him.
In the book Fishers of Men (Frank Padilla), I am reminded of God’s desire that all of us may come after Him and follow Him – a request which He determinedly hopes may find a way into our hearts. Being in this work for quite some time now and having said yes to His invitation of a life with Him, what does it really mean (for me) now to say yes to Jesus? How can I, in all my weaknesses and imperfections, follow Him more closely?
Often, fear and selfishness still beset me. Being a missionary does not guarantee an exemption from such feelings, so I realized. The uncertainty of my future still haunts me at times. Even the idea of redemptive suffering nonetheless causes apprehension. A life of entitlements is so difficult to abandon. But, over and over (and over) again, God reminds me, with such tenderness and care, that my life is not my own. I need only surrender my heart to Him and He will take care of my every step as I choose to follow Him. To live fearlessly in faith and courage is my response to all this antagonism. And it got me thinking, has the Lord ever abandoned me – a resounding NEVER. Hence, there is really no reason for me to be afraid of anything or even anyone.
This I believe in – To follow Jesus more closely through a life of surrendered will and humility is what my heart declares as I choose to be a Fisher of Men for the rest of my life.
Abandon self-fulfilment in order that the one who called me may be pleased.
Forget personal imaginings just so every soul I encounter may be blessed through His work in me.
Leave behind comfort, security and personal freedom for the sake of His love to be made real every single moment.
As I declare these words from my heart, I know it’s not going to be easy. But who am I to back down from the Lord who has done amazing (even miraculous) things in my life? Quoting a line from Fishers of Men, “what could possibly be more important to (me) than following Jesus?” This is how life is to be lived. This is the kind of life which blooms fulfillment, meaning, inner peace and true joy. Knowing that there are still so many people out there yearning for love and answers, I have no reason not to embrace this mission. I believe in my heart that amidst all the sacrifices, this kind of life will always be worth it.
It is my greatest privilege in this life to be called His missionary. Sent out to be a Fisher of Men, headstrong I’ll stand, and with every step I take and with every breath I make, I will choose to be fearless for God. Over and over again, this decision to give my life for His cause is not about me, but about my ever loving and merciful God who has anointed me to be His servant to the world.
Then again, what is this as compared to what Jesus had endured for my sake? Nothing, absolutely incomparable.