This short story is a break from the ones with a setting at The Harbor Coffee Shop. It seemed like a lake was an appropriate place for someone to meet the Apostle Peter.
Hard-working Man Meets Peter While Fishing by Matthew Kohrell
“Ahhh, Sunday afternoon”, Kevin thought to himself. He had found a quiet spot along the lake to do some fishing. Fishing was his favorite way to relax whether he caught a fish or not. For him the idea was to get away for awhile and enjoy the outdoors with no interruptions, no noise, no one asking him for anything. Just him and nature and that was how he loved it. One couldn’t really blame him for wanting some time to himself what with the demands of his construction company, and his young family. It was a fair deal he and his wife agreed to. She gets alone time Saturday afternoons while he takes care of the kids. She can go to the mall, get her nails done, or just meet up with some gal pals. He gets Sunday afternoon to get away for awhile and relax while fishing. So now it was his time for no intrusions in his blissful solitude except today his wife did say something about hoping he would catch bass so they could have fresh fish for dinner. A request he thought would be no problem since he had heard the bass were biting this week.
After a few hours, Kevin still hadn’t caught anything, so he began to think there would be no fresh fish for dinner tonight. He knew his wife wouldn’t be too disappointed but still he wanted to see her smile. He knew she loved to eat fresh fish especially bass. He was trying to decide which lure to use when a man walked up and sat down right next to him. The intruder on his solitude obviously didn’t quite get the unspoken rule in fishing that one simply did not disturb another person while fishing. Nevertheless, the man spoke right up, “Not catching anything yet huh? The fish aren’t biting?”
Kevin wasn’t one to take insults or be patient with rude people. As the owner of a construction company, he could be quite firm when needed and had no problem putting people in their place. “None of your business and by the way this is my spot today.”
The man understood the kind of man Kevin was and also knew he had a purpose in talking with Kevin, so he apologized, “Sorry to bother you. That wasn’t my intention. I will make you a deal. I will cast only a bare hook into the water for one minute. If I don’t catch anything, I will leave you to yourself. But if I catch a good sized fish, I can stay and we chat. How does that sound?”
Kevin was amused by the offer and thought there was nothing to lose, so with a laugh he replied, “Dude, if you think you can catch a fish with only a bare hook, be my guest, but in a few minutes you will be on your way.”
The man cast his bare hook into the water and immediately there was a bit. The man reeled in his line to find a nice 10 pound bass. He took the hook out of the bass’s mouth and dropped it into Kevin’s fish bucket saying, “You can have it for your dinner tonight. Your wife likes bass doesn’t she?”
Kevin was surprised to say the least but being a man of his word, he realized he had to let the man stay and chat. However, talking about his wife was off limits. “Okay, you won the bet. You can stay, but just how do you know about my wife?”
The man responded, “I didn’t mean to offend you. Perhaps I should introduce myself. My name is Peter. God wanted me to come talk with you and let me know why you are fishing here today. It is your alone time to relax and your wife told you she hoped you would catch some bass.”
Kevin was intrigued now, “You claim God sent you? Can you prove that?”
Peter was quick to respond, “How about this, let’s both cast bare hooks into the water and see if we can both catch a bass of at least 10 pounds.”
Kevin felt confident that couldn’t happen, “Sure, let’s give it a try.”
As they both cast bare hooks into the water, Kevin thought to himself, “I got him now.”
Less than a minute after they cast their bare hooks into the water they each had caught something. When they pulled their catch in, they saw that each of them had caught a nice sized bass. They were larger than the one Peter had caught a few minutes ago.
Peter spoke up, “Jesus got my attention more than one time when I was fishing. He came up to me one day when I was casting my net, Jesus came up to me and told me to follow him and he would make me a fisher of men. I left my nets to follow him. That was the day I met Jesus. I was fishing at the time.”
Kevin sat there a bit astonished by what was happening, but managed to ask, “That must have been some experience, but what does that have to do with me?”
Peter realized Kevin was hooked now, “Jesus wants you to follow him too Kevin. But first you need to come to him and receive him as your Savior, trust in him and believe that he died for your sins.”
Kevin didn’t know why exactly, but shared, “Yes, I know I need Jesus, but you know I have made a lot of mistakes and I would probably disappoint Jesus.”
Peter saw the timing was right to share more of his story, “I made a huge mistake after I started to follow Jesus. I was always putting my foot in my mouth and it always seemed like I was getting in the way, but the last one was a doozy. Before Jesus was arrested and killed, he told me I would deny him three times before the rooster crowed. Sure enough, that is exactly what I did. Three times I denied him and when the rooster crowed the last time, I knew had done it. I knew Jesus was being put through a kangaroo court false trial and I had abandoned him. John went to the cross to show support for Jesus while he died, but I went into hiding. I don’t think you can do worse than that.”
“Oh my” Kevin responded, “Tough time for you. How did you get past that?”
Peter was glad to share, “It started with fishing too. We had kind of given up and gone back to fishing after Jesus was crucified and resurrected. We didn’t have the full picture yet. One day we hadn’t caught anything and a man was standing on the shore yelling out to ask if we had caught any fish. We said we hadn’t, so he told us to throw our nets on the other side. The nets were so full they were bursting, so we realized it was Jesus. When we got back to shore, we saw that Jesus had breakfast ready for us, fish and bread. While we were eating, Jesus asked me three times if I loved him and each time after I answered yes I loved him, he told me to feed his sheep meaning teach them about him and watch over them. He did this to restore me in front of the other disciples.Jesus can take men like us Kevin, ordinary hard-working men, and do his work through us. You just need to decide if you will follow him or not.”
Kevin took a breath, “This is certainly not what I expected when you first came over here, but you know what, I do want to follow Jesus.”
Peter smiled, “Wonderful. Before I go, let’s each cast our bare hooks again.” They cast their hooks into the water and each of them caught a bass bigger than the other ones.
Peter grinned, “Great. Now your family can have a fish dinner. I need to go my friend. Be sure to call the pastor of the church you and your wife visited this morning for Easter. He can help you learn more.”
With that Peter walked away but to Kevin’s surprise, Peter walked over the water until he disappeared.
Kevin sat watching until Peter was gone. He pulled out his cell phone and called his wife, “Honey we certainly have fish, but when I get home, we need to talk.”
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